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WHO adopts draft resolution on antimicrobial resistance

Press Trust of India  |  Geneva 

The draft resolution on the global action plan on antimicrobial resistance was adopted today at the WHO after changes suggested by India and other developing countries were incorporated in the document.

During the adoption of the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) resolution, the Indian side had said, "AMR is not merely a health challenge but a development challenge especially for the low and middle-income countries."

"Strategies for action on AMR would be incomplete without emphasising the need for mobilising and providing adequate resources required to implement these strategies," it had said.

In addition, Indian officials had emphasised that the focus should not only be on human health but also on various contributing sectors.

"The need for ensuring access to affordable antimicrobials, diagnostics and vaccines, both existing and new, is also critical," Arun Kumar Panda, Additional Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare said.

On Friday, India had asked for more deliberations before the draft resolution on the global action plan (GAP) could be adopted.

Consequently, an informal drafting group was established by member states that concluded its debate on Saturday.

Consensus was reached on the wording of the proposed resolution and it was re-submitted to the Committee and was approved without further amendment today.

Some concerns of India and other developing countries have been included in the amended text that highlights the challenges developing countries face in "improving affordability and universal access to quality, safe and effective antimicrobial medicines and diagnostic tools".

The GAP resolves to promote "affordable access to existing and new antimicrobial medicines and diagnostic tools", taking into account the needs of all countries.

The amended text also purports to provide support and technical assistance to countries "with a specific focus on low and middle income countries".

The WHO under the amended resolution will attempt to contain AMR, "including through the tracking of resource flows for research and development on antimicrobial resistance in the new global health research and development observatory".

"This has opened up the process for addressing the development-related concerns in the context of AMR. Developing world should be vigil of what is happening in the coming days," said K M Gopakumar, Legal Advisor for Third World Network.

Through adoption of the GAP, governments are committed to have in place by May 2017, a national action plan on AMR aligned with GAP.

Member states need to cover not only the use of antimicrobial medicines in human health but also for animal health and agriculture.

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First Published: Tue, May 26 2015. 00:02 IST