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Resistance to antimicrobials is of growing concern in South-East Asia, highlights WHO

SEAR at the highest risk globally for the emergence and spread of AMR

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The BMJ's collection on "Antimicrobial resistance in South East Asia" is a series of 15 articles highlighting how antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become a critical political, social, and economic problem in the WHO South East Asia region

The BMJ, a leading international medical journal, has published a special collection on antimicrobial resistance AMR in collaboration with the World Health Organization South-East Asia Region.

The region is home to a quarter of the world’s population. Dr. Kamran Abbasi, executive editor of The BMJ said, "As our articles highlight, this region is probably most at risk of emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance.”

Several antibiotics are ineffective against common infections, resulting in prolonged, more severe infections, and deaths.

Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director of WHO-SEARO, highlighted multiple reasons for this. “Poor prescription practices, irrational use of antibiotics in livestock, and an overall lack of awareness have led to the present situation. A One Health approach is needed in which health, veterinary and agricultural sectors work together to address the issue,” she said.

The collection brings forth examples from Thailand, Indonesia, and India in developing national action plans to combat antimicrobial resistance. New ways to analyze the magnitude of antimicrobial resistance in each country and mechanisms for better surveillance using information technology are proposed.

“It is a critical situation requiring urgent action from the remarkable nations of the region. We hope that this collection of articles will inform national and regional responses to antimicrobial resistance and improve the health of people. The BMJ is committed to helping create a healthier world through our coverage of major challenges in international and global health," said Dr. Abbasi.

The initiative is expected to bring together policy makers and governments to commit to urgent actions on this front, and invest in research for new antimicrobials and containment strategies. The collection will be launched at the 70th WHO regional meeting in Maldives and followed by a meeting with key stakeholders in Delhi, India at the end of September 2017.

Read full collection of articles here: http://www.bmj.com/anti-microbial-resistance

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