Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) kills, increases the costs of our health care, damages trade and economies, and threatens health security. The most recent studies show that in the European Union (EU) over 33 000 people die every year due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria; of which, 75% of these deaths are caused by health care-associated infections. This is a burden that is comparable to that of tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and influenza combined. While the use of antibiotics is slowly declining in the EU, 20% of patients are still wrongly taking them to fight a flu or cold.
The good news is there is something we can do about it. The EU is determined to contribute to this endeavour. The EU’s One Health Action Plan was adopted to set out the European Commission’s objectives for tackling AMR. The One Health term emphasizes that human and animal health are interconnected, together with the environment. AMR needs to be tackled not only in human health, but also in animal health and environmental policies. The EU’s One Health Action Plan sets the milestones to boost research, development and innovation on AMR, shapes the global agenda and makes the EU a best practice region. Fighting AMR will not only lead to better health for European citizens, but will also benefit our economies.
This book offers all those who have a role to play a concrete, useful, and in-depth look at the health and economic burden of AMR, ways to tackle and combat AMR in all different sectors, as well as the role of vaccines and civil society.
Everyone is responsible for addressing this threat and has a part to play. So let us fight AMR together.