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Monday, 11 April 2011

World Health Day: fight against antimicrobial resistance must continue on a global scale

This year's World Health Day focuses on the growing threat of potentially deadly bacteria developing resistance to antimicrobial drugs - especially to antibiotics. The Commission joins the World Health Organisation in calling for strengthened efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance, which is a global health hazard. In the Union alone, it is estimated that drug resistant infections cause more than 25,000 deaths and 1.5Bn€ in extra healthcare costs every year. [...] In November 2011, to coincide with Antibiotic Awareness Day, the Commission is planning to present a new strategy addressing all sources of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and their potential impacts. It will address public health, food safety, consumer safety, environment, animal health and welfare as well as non-therapeutic use of antimicrobial substances. On the occasion of World Health Day a brochure showcasing EU-funded research projects on AMR from 2007-2010 is made available. Tackling AMR requires investing in research and innovation. The EU has prioritised research in this field, supporting numerous research projects for a total amount of approximately €300 million since 1999. [...] EU-funded projects have helped better understand resistance mechanisms and identify novel antimicrobial compounds that may lead to future drugs. The knowledge generated by this research not only contributes to improving human health but also stimulates innovation and competitiveness in Europe.

Source: European Commission