Up the AMR creek without a paddle?

You must have been hiding under a stone for a long time if you missed the news on AMR. It’s that acronym that’s taking up space all over the media right now, since the World Health Organisation raised it up the flagpole in 2012. [AMR: antimicrobial resistance is the formal name for resistance to antibiotics] This year the World Health Assembly gave it another push and now it’s flavour of the month in government circles the world over. The reason for all this concern is the grim reality that we’re running out of options for some of the most challenging infections. The prospect of being up the creek without a paddle is drawing closer.

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The British government has weighed in with a detailed report from the O’Neil Commission. They calculate that in just 35 years, deaths due to antibiotic resistance will overtake cancer deaths. Worldwide, they estimate 10 million deaths due to AMR each year and a loss to the global economy of trillions of dollars.

Now the Micrognome likes an occasional paddle in the waters around Perth, and has been known to go a bit further afield for more challenging kayaking. Nothing like the Avon Descent, though. Imagine what that would be like without a paddle? So when the gnome got roped into the launch of a serious campaign to Make AMR history, the image that came to mind was straight out of the kayaking lexicon – up the creek with only half a paddle. You see, the current AMR state of affairs might be bad and getting worse. But it’s not as bad as it could be. We have half the antibiotic paddle, and have to use it twice as hard. Awkward though that might be.

We’ll get into the task ahead, how we’re going to implement and coordinate it in future posts. But for now, we’d like to reassure loyal readers of this Blog that we have not been drifting in the quiet upper reaches of the Swan River for the last six months. We’ve assembled a first class international group to help us make AMR history. For a few clues on how to turn the tide on AMR, have a look at the O’Neill Commission’s report on Rapid Diagnostics.

Our plan is  ready to roll.

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  1. […] use in order to slow the emergence of resistance. That is not a matter for debate. We are up the creek with only half a paddle. Unfortunately, the complete removal of all or any currently used antibiotic […]

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