Delegate Name: Sophia Conrad
Delegate: Sophia Conrad
Committee: World Health Organization
Topic: Antibiotic Resistance
Resistance to antibiotic drugs has become a global health crisis, directly resulting in over a million deaths and contributing to almost 4 million more. Upon the miraculous discovery of penicillin in 1928, and its subsequent use in 1941, antibiotics have become essential to treating infections. The first signs of antibiotic resistance followed as soon as 1942. Since then, overprescription and lack of public education regarding these medicines has caused antibiotic consumption to increase. This increase in usage is particularly apparent in nations such as India, Thailand, and Ecuador. These nations exhibited the most antimicrobial resistance cases according to the Drug Resistance Index (DRI). The rise of antimicrobial resistance can be most directly attributed to lack of knowledge, regulation, and supervision.
The World Health Assembly in May of 2015 determined an action plan which included initiatives to increase awareness, research, and surveillance regarding antibiotic resistance. The assembly also planned to assist low-income countries with economic support for new medicines and vaccines. However, in April of 2019, the UN Interagency Coordinating Group (IACG) on Antimicrobial Resistance released a report calling for immediate further action. In May, the World Health Organization passed another resolution to continue its efforts to confront antimicrobial resistance by including measures in infection prevention and hygiene. The resolution also called for greater support in implementing individual nation’s action plans.
The German network on Antimicrobial Resistance( DNAMR) was launched this year to address the rising cases of antibiotic resistance. The DNAMR is looking to “promote the development of new, resistance-breaking antibiotics” by connecting market incentives and research funding to strengthen the initiative. Germany has already adopted a national action plan which follows the One Health approach and is coordinating within the German Antibiotic Resistance Strategy. Germany is one of the greatest supporters of the World Health Organization and places significant emphasis on solving the issue of antimicrobial resistance globally.
Unfortunately, notable progress has been lost on the front of antibiotic resistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Arjun Srinivasan, M.D., “In hospitals alone, antimicrobial-resistant infections and deaths both increased at least 15% in 2020 compared to 2019.” In order to address this issue, surveillance of antibiotic resistance must be increased, antibiotics must be regulated, and education must be provided to both medical personnel and the public on proper use of antibiotics. As recommended by the IACG on AMR, we need to “phase out… antimicrobials…in agriculture”” and “put in place stronger regulatory systems”. By taking these essential steps towards success, we can decrease the threat of antibiotic resistance.