Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called for worldwide coordinated actions to monitor the nature of infectious diseases, implement required control measures and raise global awareness against the widespread use of antibiotics.
"We are running out of available antibiotics and soon could face another global emergency, far more severe than the current Covid-19 pandemic. This menace has the potential of rolling back most of our medical and therapeutic successes achieved through scientific advancements over the ages," she said this while addressing the launching of "One Health Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance" on Friday virtually.
Unnecessary use of antibiotics, wrong doses and overall poor infection prevention are causing this grave situation, said the premier.
Sheikh Hasina said there is no doubt that antimicrobial resistance has become a global public health challenge both for humans and animals.
"Endangering food production is leading us towards catastrophic results," she added.
She said the government has formulated the "National Action Plan for Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Containment 2017–2022" in Bangladesh being inspired by the WHO Global Action Plan in 2015.
This document and its associated 'Roadmap' speak about the government's policy thrust and commitment to address AMR.
She said, "This is an important component of our efforts to ensure universal health for all in our country."
"We should also ensure affordable access to new antibiotics by all. For this, I also call for increased internationally coordinated investment for more research for inventing new generations of antibiotics," Sheikh Hasina said further.
She said, "Prevention is better than cure. So, I would call upon the global leaders to make this timely initiative successful by providing advocacy, technical and financial support for effective implementation of the recommendations of the 'Inter Agency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance' to address the global antimicrobial resistance crisis.
"I hope that this Leaders' Group will be successful to mainstream this vital health issue in all our important discourses contributing to the united global effort to fight the ominous development of antibiotic resistance," she concluded.
She thanked the important tripartite partners World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) for their initiative to establish "One Health Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance" for coordinated action and collective global governance to address the serious challenges of the antimicrobial resistance.
Sheikh Hasina launched the event as a co-chair while Barbados PM Mia Amor Mottley, and directors general of WHO, FAO and OIE were also connected virtually.