G20 countries take part in simulation of an AMR pandemic crisis

Published: Friday, 05 October 2018 07:53

On the 4th October 2018 the G20 countries took part in an exercise to test response to a scenario where an infection that is resistant to antibiotics spreads rapidly around the world.

The Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies, and Argentine journalist Dr Nelson Castro led the exercise which put government ministers in a scenario where an E. Coli outbreak that is resistant to antibiotics spreads across borders, becoming a pandemic and putting public health, livestock, trade and travel at risk.

The exercise took place at the G20 Health Ministerial Meeting in Mar del Plata Argentina and aimed to raise awareness and understanding of the key challenges of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and to encourage G20 ministers to ensure that countries are doing everything they can in the global fight against superbugs.

AMR is a natural phenomenon where microbes evolve to be able to resist the actions of drugs, making them ineffective. The process is being accelerated by humans through the inappropriate use and misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals. The biggest threat posed by the spread of AMR is losing modern medicine and an increase in deaths worldwide. It is therefore vital governments work together to minimise the impact of AMR around the world.

A 2016 independent antimicrobial resistance review led by Lord O’Neill predicted that without urgent international action, AMR will cause the deaths of at least 10 million people a year by 2050.