Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the international community to formulate an integrated multi-sectoral action plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) at both the regional and global level, with special focus on low and middle-income countries.
Speaking virtually at the High-Level Interactive Dialogue convened by the President of the General Assembly (PGA) of the United Nations, she also laid emphasis on equitable access to affordable and effective antibiotics, as required, through transfer of technology and sharing of ownership.
Apart from that, Sheikh Hasina stressed good manufacturing, laboratory practices and surveillance framework, sustainable financing for AMR containment activities, and global public awareness in combating AMR through political commitment and partnership between member states.
She virtually joined the dialogue, held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, as co-chair of the Global Leaders Group on AMR for promoting multi-sectoral collaboration to combat and contain AMR.
In her speech, she feared that antimicrobial resistance may in future cause even more lethal pandemics than the devastating pandemic of Covid-19.
"Failure to tackle this hazard in time will result in huge loss of human lives, animals, and plants," she said.
Prime Minister Hasina spoke of WHOs estimation that 10 million people would die every year by 2050 from AMR, and economic loss would be in trillions of dollars which will also disrupt food security and progress towards achievement of the SDGs and universal health coverage.
She told the programme that Bangladesh has developed a six-year (from 2017 to 2022) National Strategic Plan and National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance Containment-ARC.
Besides that, the National Technical Committee on ARC, and the Bangladesh AMR Response Alliance were formed.
Laboratory-based AMR surveillance for both human and animal health is being conducted here regularly to ensure the WHO categorisation. At the same time, Bangladesh has been providing AMR surveillance data to the WHO GLASS Platform since 2019, she added.
Sheikh Hasina described the AMR challenges as crucial to preventing future pandemics and underscored the need to implement the 2015 Global Action Plan on AMR, the 2016 UN political declaration on AMR, and to formulate AMR national action plans.
She also expressed cordial interest to work with all relevant stakeholders in contributing to the fight against AMR.
"As co-chairs of the Global Leaders Group on AMR, the Prime Minister of Barbados and I stand ready to work with all relevant stakeholders in contributing to the fight against AMR," she said.
The High-level Interactive Dialogue on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) was organised with focus on strengthening political commitment, taking stock of progress, recommitting to actions, and building back better from COVID-19.
It was aimed at agreeing on further practical steps that can effectively address challenges to tackling AMR as part of future pandemic preparedness through a One Health approach, while supporting the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Dialogue was a follow-up to a call of the General Assembly in its resolution titled "Political declaration of the high-level meeting on universal health coverage."