The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has cautioned that Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) might be the next pandemic with serious implications on global health, agri-food systems and economies.
AMR is the ability of microbes to persist or grow in the presence of drugs designed to inhibit them. In a report published on its website recently, FAO pointed out that at least 700,000 people died each year due to drug resistant diseases.
The international food agency, therefore, urged value chain actors from farmers, cooks, producers and consumers to politicians, students, veterinarians and food packagers, among others, to accelerate efforts towards preventing the drug- resistant microbes.
“Everyone has a role to play in this mission,” FAO said, adding that more common diseases including respiratory tract infections, sexually transmitted infections and urinary tract infections are becoming harder to treat.
The UN agency in the report also revealed that drug resistance is increasingly threatening the agri-food systems and global food security “COVID-19 has shown us that human, animal and environmental health are more interdependent than ever before. “Pathogens affecting one area can exacerbate challenges in others and have an enormous impact on how we prevent and control health threats to safeguard the world.