Environmental Dimensions of Antimicrobial Resistance

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Environmental Dimensions of Antimicrobial Resistance

Recently the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has released a report titled “Environmental Dimensions of Antimicrobial Resistance: AMR”.

AMR is the ability of a microorganism (such as bacteria, viruses, and some parasites) to prevent antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics, antivirals, and anti-malarial) from working against itself.

Key findings of this report:

  • By 2050, 10 million people could die every year due to AMR.
  • By 2030, AMR could reduce GDP by $3.4 trillion per year. Also, an additional 24 crore people could be pushed into the category of extreme poverty.

Major sources of AMR:

  • Low level of sanitation, sewage and waste effluents: seepage from open dumping and urban waste effluents etc.
  • Effluent and related waste from pharmaceutical manufacturing units.
  • Effluents and related wastes from health facilities: Antimicrobial products and wastes present in hospital waste, resistant microorganisms etc.
  • Use of antimicrobials and fertilizers in crop production: Use of fungicides, herbicides, heavy metals and antibiotics, untreated manure and waste water etc.
  • Effluents and wastes from animal husbandry: Improper disposal of unused drugs, antibiotic use in aquaculture, etc.

Suggestions in the report:

  • Improving environmental governance, planning and regulatory framework
  • Identification and targeting of AMR related pollutants on priority basis.
  • Improve reporting, surveillance and monitoring.
  • Prioritizing financing, innovation and capacity development.

Source – The Hindu

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