Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing threat to global health and humanity, with its striking impact increasing each year. According to the World Health Organization, “AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.” Antimicrobial resistance causes medicines and antibiotics to become ineffective, causing infections to become extremely difficult to treat, if not impossible without another solution.
What Causes Antimicrobial Resistance?
It’s known that antimicrobial-resistant organisms are found in people, animals, plants, food, and the environment (in water, air and soil). The organisms can therefore travel between people and animals, including from food of animal origin. As people, we often misuse and overuse antimicrobials in antibiotics such as penicillin, which causes our bodies to become used to its effects. This causes new bacteria and viruses to take over our bodies, as the antibiotics can no longer fight them. Knowing what causes antimicrobial resistance allows us to act on it as quickly as we can.
How are We Taking Action Against AMR?
The UK’s 5-year national action plan to tackle AMR, which will renew in 2024, states that “AMR infections are estimated to cause 700,000 deaths each year globally.
“Any effort to tackle AMR must include a focus on improving the development of, and access to, good quality old and new antimicrobials, vaccines diagnostics and infection prevention and control products, as well as promoting alternatives to antibiotics.”
A world without antibiotics is unimaginable, however, there are other ways in which we can take action against AMR rather than experimenting with antibiotics that then become part of the cycle.
As a procurement agent for medical supplies and equipment in response to global humanitarian crises, Unimed also acts daily in response to antimicrobial resistance.
Unimed’s Response to Antimicrobial Resistance
Unimed’s Founder & Managing Director, Shameet Thakkar, has led the team to respond rapidly to AMR. Unimed has been supplying medical equipment to support the set up of laboratory and diagnostic centres across multiple countries, to help make infections identifiable.
The sooner research institutions and governments can discover the growth rate of bacteria, viruses and other elements that cause antimicrobial resistance, the sooner Unimed can procure medical supplies and equipment to assist in the AMR mission. A world without antibiotics may be unimaginable, but there are other ways in which we can contribute, such as with rapidly delivered health equipment.
As well as this, Unimed recently attended the 19th Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference & Exhibition (DIHAD), in which we felt inspired by the words of Nada Malou, an Antimicrobial Resistance Specialist. Her words supported the importance for businesses and organisations to step up and come together to lessen the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.
Find out more about Unimed’s services and how we respond to global health matters here.