This report is dedicated to the 48,700 families who lose a loved one each year to antibiotic resistance or Clostridioides difficile, and the countless healthcare providers, public health experts, innovators, and others who are fighting back with everything they have
The dedication in The American Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 2019 report on AMR, launched this month, is a chilling reminder of the impact of antibiotic infections.
People are dying.
In big numbers.
The foreword by Robert R. Redfield, M.D.Director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a must read. Simple messages, such as “wash your hands” illustrate the power we all have to contribute to reducing the spread of infections.
The report accurately points out that too many of us in our settings and industries adopt the “blame game”; this must STOP.
Antibiotic resistant infections are everywhere. Slowing their spread is the responsibility of everyone – including farmers, vets, food processors and the pharmaceutical industry.
Based on the work of several organisations, we know where challenges exist and there are emerging plans to tackle these challenges.
The 2019 report was the first to use electronically collected healthcare data. This is heralded as an advance, allowing improved surveillance and analysis. VirtualVet offers this electronic surveillance and analysis to the agri-food sector already.
Improved data collection has been called for for years as a way to reduce the risk through improved understanding of behaviours and habits around antibiotic prescribing and usage. No single sector carries total responsibility, but people working together can make real improvements. FAIRR.org works with investors and large food retailers to demand improved surveillance of food-producing animals. Recently, VirtualVet started working with innovative and forward looking vets here in Ireland to roll out our data collection and surveillance service on-farm.
Real actions are being taken.
Real progress is being made.
But the scale and speed of progress is, so far, too slow.
The bugs are continuing to claim too many lives.