AMR crisis rating looks bleak
Question: On a scale of one to 10 how bad is the crisis surrounding Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)?
It's just an opinion, of course, but coming from Andrew Morgan, Chief Scientist at DuPont Nutrition & Health, it's an opinion that justifies our attention.
Speaking from a background of 35 years of working on health & nutrition for both humans and animals, he also said his answer could easily have been 10 and only didn't select the maximum due to a long-held belief in the world's ability to solve all its major problems, sooner or later.
Sooner or later might not be good enough this time, of course. The AMR crisis clock is definitely ticking, a point made forcefully by Rio Praaning, founder and managing partner of Public Advice International Foundation (PA International).
Adding that governments are notoriously slow (and mercenary) to act on such issues, as shown by the fact that anti-smoking actions only took off after health costs outgunned tax income, he delivered a stream of statistics in support of the case for a much more pro-active approach to AMR, stating that the issue is already well set to become the world's 'deadliest health threat'.
Comparing current health and disaster risks according to the time each factor takes to kill people, he listed SARS, flooding, Ebola, earthquakes and even cancer as being less damaging than AMR will be in 2050, unless we respond soon.
That has to include more regulations being used to prevent antimicrobials 'far out-producing global health requirements'. Praaning also warned that such action could not be left for 'players in the marketplace' to run themselves.
And what happens if the world doesn't respond in time?
On this Morgan quoted Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, who said in July last year that if we go back to a pre-antibiotics era, 40% of people will die of infections.