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Health secretary urges world leaders to follow UK’s lead in global fight against superbugs

Published: 24 Jan 2019 in Society news

A new plan to tackle the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been announced today by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock.
 
Antibiotic resistance poses a substantial threat to modern medicine and is predicted to kill 10 million people every year by 2050, as outlined in the O’Neill report. Without effective antibiotics, straightforward, everyday operations like caesarean sections or a hip replacement could become too dangerous to perform.
 
Today’s national action plan sets out how the UK will achieve its new 20 year vision for a world in which AMR is contained and controlled by 2040, covering health, animals, the environment and the food chain. New ambitions and interventions include a world-first target to cut the number of resistant infections, and a target to reduce the use of antibiotics in humans by a further 15 per cent.
 
Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England and Honorary Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society, said:
 
“The threat of antimicrobial resistance cannot be overstated – without intervention it is not an exaggeration to say that we could return to the dark ages of medicine. Too many people are already dying as a result of drug resistant infections around the world while many still do not have access to the antibiotics they need. 
 
“This is not just a health issue, it is a social and economic one. The fate of modern medicine now rests on strong leadership, bold action and collaboration across nations, sectors and borders and I am pleased to see that this strategy has this sentiment at its heart.”
 
For more information on the plan read the UK government press release.