Blog Posts by Mohan Joshi

Antibiotics are commonly used in animals to boost their growth and keep them from picking up infections.

Their consensus was inevitable. As the 74th World Health Assembly (WHA) discussed a solution in May to contain the grave and growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), one mandate emerged: any action must take a multisectoral One Health approach to human, animal, and environmental health. 

Antibiotics are commonly used in animals – often without the input of veterinarians – to boost their growth and keep them from picking up infections. Estimates indicate that more than 70% of the antimicrobials sold globally are used in animals, and in some countries up to 80%, mostly for growth promotion. This indiscriminate antimicrobial use fuels resistance. 

Health worker at Divine Grace Medical Center, Philippines. Photo credit: MSH

OPINION: The pandemic may be interfering with our fight against drug-resistant bacteria. Luckily, the same tactics can beat back both scourges.

 

As health-care systems around the world fight to contain Covid-19, they may be inadvertently opening the door wider to another killer that is just as dangerous.

I’m talking about the spread of pathogens that are resistant to treatment, such as antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The death toll from Covid is staggering, but so is that from antibiotic resistance: Nasty superbugs such as Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, currently kill some 700,000 people globally each year — that’s twice the number of Americans who died of Covid last year. Left unchecked, antibiotic resistance may kill up to 10 million more people yearly and cumulatively cost patients and health systems up to $100 trillion by the year 2050.

{Hospital pharmacy in Antananarivo, Madagascar. Photo Credit: Warren Zelman}Hospital pharmacy in Antananarivo, Madagascar. Photo Credit: Warren Zelman

This op-ed was originally published by Devex

Multidrug-resistant germs are spreading. A number of antibiotics and other antimicrobials already don’t work as they should, and as many as 700,000 people die each year because of it.

If we don’t act to contain antimicrobial resistance, it may kill up to 10 million more people yearly by 2050 and cumulatively cost patients and health systems across the globe up to $100 trillion. This crisis may start to seem insurmountable, like a vague scientific problem with no apparent solution. Many of us have contributed to it, and each of us will need to collaborate — as nations, organizations, and individuals — to solve it.

“Without tackling wasteful, inefficient, and irrational use of antimicrobials, we cannot contain AMR.” — Mohan Joshi, a principal technical adviser for Management Sciences for Health 

 {Photo credit: Warren Zelman Photography}A pharmacy/clinic window in Democratic Republic of the Congo.Photo credit: Warren Zelman Photography

Strong health systems are necessary to help prevent and mitigate epidemics, including the oft-overlooked epidemic of antimicrobial resistance.

This is the third post in a new series on improving the health of the poorest and most vulnerable women, girls, families, and communities by prioritizing prevention and preparing health systems for epidemics (see also: Part 1 and Part 2). Join the conversation online with hashtag .

 {Photo credit: Todd Shapera}Antibiotics on the shelves of a pharmacy in Rwanda.Photo credit: Todd Shapera

Picture a scenario where infections become totally untreatable because none of the available antimicrobial agents work. This is not imaginary, but is likely to happen very soon if we don’t act urgently, intensely, and consistently to tackle the rising tide of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

This week, the global health and development community is commemorating the first World Antibiotic Awareness Week. Spearheaded by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise global awareness on the magnitude, reach, and severity of antibiotic resistance; the event comes at a time when resistance to many antimicrobials, not just antibiotics, has now escalated to pandemic proportions and is a serious global health risk that requires urgent attention. In fact, the WHO has labeled AMR one of the biggest global public health threats.

 {Photo credit: Todd Shapera}Antibiotics on the shelves of a pharmacy in Rwanda.Photo credit: Todd Shapera

In May 2015, the World Health Assembly discussed and endorsed a global action plan on antimicrobial resistance. The action plan sets five strategic objectives to promote better understanding of the threat of antimicrobial resistance, and to ensure the proper use and conservation of existing antimicrobials.

Drug Therapeutic Committee training course in Kampala, Uganda.

As we celebrate World Health Day on April 7, 2011, the global health community is focusing on an increasingly dangerous health challenge---drug resistance. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)---defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the resistance of a microorganism to an antimicrobial medicine to which it was previously sensitive---is a global public health threat that is rapidly wiping out the effectiveness of many first-line treatments. It undermines major public health achievements in treating infectious diseases such as HIV & AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and sexually transmitted infections. Not only is AMR a complex, cross-cutting problem affecting a wide variety of sectors, but it has crossed all national, geographical, and ethnic boundaries and is spreading globally.