‘The connections between antimicrobial resistance, environmental health and the climate crisis are becoming increasingly stark…’
The Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance have used the UN Environment Assembly to call on all countries to reduce the amount of antimicrobial waste entering the environment. The UN Environment Assembly, a hybrid event, was held in Nairobi, Kenya, and online from 28 February to 2 March.
The Global Leaders Group, which was established during 2020 and is co-chaired by Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados and Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, has called for improvements in measures to manage the disposal of antimicrobial containing waste and runoff from manufacturing sites, farms, hospitals and other sources.
The Group stressed that while the exact scale of global antimicrobial pollution is not known, ‘evidence indicates that it could have significant impact on antimicrobial resistance.’ The measures being called for include: Strengthened governance and oversight with countries developing, or building on, regulatory frameworks to establish safe levels of, and monitoring of, the release and distribution of antimicrobial resistant bacteria from food systems, manufacturing and human health systems. In addition; improved discharge management and further research and development focusing on cost-effective and greener waste management technologies, including methods to remove antimicrobial residues, were also highlighted.
Commenting Mia Amor Mottley said; ‘The connections between antimicrobial resistance, environmental health and the climate crisis are becoming increasingly stark. We must act now to protect the environment, and people everywhere, from the damaging effects of antimicrobial pollution.’