A growing number of countries are making commitments to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR), but the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed progress and much work remains, according to the latest global survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), according to a news report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota.
While a record number of countries (163) responded to the latest Tripartite AMR country self-assessment survey, more than 90% reported that the pandemic has impeded development and implementation of national plans to address AMR.
In addition to reduced funding for AMR efforts, the pandemic has hampered many countries' ability to collect data on antibiotic use and resistance and develop AMR campaigns.
As in previous surveys, the latest results also show that many countries understand that drug resistance is a growing problem and have developed plans to address the threat, but in many cases, the plans exist only on paper. Implementation, coordination, funding, and political commitment remain issues.
For example, survey data show that 86% of responding countries have developed multisectoral AMR national action plans to address drug resistance in human and animal health. But only 20% are actively monitoring the implementation of those plans, and only 50% have a coordination mechanism to help them prioritize activities, calculate costs, and implement and monitor the plans.