THE COST OF ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE
02, May 2019
Prelims level : Science & Technology Mains level : Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
Why in News:
- India must brace for the economic shocks from uncontrolled antimicrobial resistance
- Even though antimicrobial resistance is acknowledged by policymakers as a major health crisis, few have considered its economic impact.
- a report from the Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (IACG) puts the financial fall-out in perspective.
- Titled “No Time to Wait: Securing The Future From Drug Resistant Infections”, it says in about three decades from now uncontrolled antimicrobial resistance will cause global economic shocks on the scale of the 2008-09 financial crisis.
- With nearly 10 million people estimated to die annually from resistant infections by 2050, health-care costs and the cost of food production will spike, while income inequality will widen.
- the world will lose 3.8% of its annual GDP by 2050, while 24 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty by 2030. many Indians still die of diseases like sepsis and pneumonia because they don’t get the right drug at the right time. On the other hand, a poorly regulated pharmaceutical industry means that antibiotics are freely available to those who can afford them. Some steps can be initiated right away, it says, such as phasing out critical human-use antibiotics in the animal husbandry sector, such as quinolones.
- Philanthropic charities must fund the development of new antibiotics, while citizen activists must drive awareness. the only way to postpone resistance is through improved hygiene and vaccinations. It is a formidable task as India still struggles with low immunisation rates and drinking water contamination. While the 2008-09 financial crisis caused global hardships, its effects began to wear off by 2011. Once crucial antibiotics are lost to humankind, they may be lost for decades.
- The WHO defines antimicrobial resistance as a microorganism’s resistance to an antimicrobial drug that was once able to treat an infection by that microorganism.
- The Union health ministry’s Anti-Microbial Resistance awareness campaign urges people not to use medicines marked with a red vertical line, including antibiotics, without a doctor’s prescription.