World AMR Awareness Week: Antimicrobial Resistance Causes Around 5 Million Deaths Every Year

It is known that microbes like viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi make an important part of our daily lives residing in the human body and outside. Microorganisms are required for healthy digestion, immune function, and the absorption of vital nutrients. They are also used in farming and industrial processes. However, they can lead to disease among humans, plants, and animals. A stash of antimicrobials eradicates harmful microbes and reduces their transmission. At times, microbes create resistance towards antimicrobial drugs and some microorganisms evolve to become superbugs, therefore they do not react to antimicrobial drugs and this process is called antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

AMR can turn common diseases and ailments into life-threatening diseases. AMR is a covert killer, which causes nearly 5 million mortalities every year. This figure is more than the overall combined fatality toll caused by malaria and HIV/AIDS. These deaths linked to AMR can elevate to 10 million every year by 2050, surpassing cancer as a top global cause of death. Experts say that there is an urgent need for the worldwide effort to fight against AMR. Also, the existing efforts that emphasize solutions developed in high-income countries may not be appropriate for the social and economic challenges in low- and middle-income nations. People need to be less reliant on antibiotics and for this, it is crucial to understand the factors that develop reliance on antibiotics in the first place.

Although antimicrobial resistance is a global concern, there are some regional variances. Most human fatalities due to antimicrobial resistance happen in sub-Saharan Africa. AMR is a rising concern linked to malaria and tuberculosis in this area. Low-income surroundings are often linked to the usage of low-quality antimicrobial drugs. These things are contributing factors to creating drug resistance. Antibiotics are the most extensively used antimicrobial medications. The usage of antibiotics shot by 65 percent from 2000 to 2015 globally. However, the global usage of antibiotics increased by 73 percent in agriculture and animals to raise food. Experts caution that AMR in farm animals can result in the next pandemic if it goes unrestrained.

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