PRO/AMR> WHO (03): Western Pacific region, AMR burden by 2030


A ProMED-mail post
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International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Tue 13 Jun 2023
Source: World Health Organization/Western Pacific [edited]

An estimated 5.2 million people in the Western Pacific Region are
expected to die as a result of drug-resistant bacterial infections
between now and the end of 2030, according to the 1st World Health
Organization (WHO) regional assessment on health and economic impact
of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) released today [13 Jun 2023].

The assessment found that AMR will cost the Western Pacific Region an
estimated total of USD 148 billion between 2020 and 2030 — nearly 10%
of the Region’s total health expenditure in 2019 — due to lost
productivity and additional healthcare expenses associated with
prolonged hospitalizations. By the end of 2030, patients with
antimicrobial-resistant infections in the Region will spend an
estimated 172 million extra days in hospital.

Health and Economic Impacts of Antimicrobial Resistance in the Western
Pacific Region 2020-2030
see below], produced by WHO in the Western Pacific Region, warns that
the “silent pandemic” of AMR is not only endangering people’s health
but also threatening future health security and development in the

“In the 21st century, people’s lives should not be needlessly cut
short due to common infections that become resistant to available
treatments,” says Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO acting regional director for
the Western Pacific. “To fight antimicrobial resistance, we must
strengthen national AMR surveillance systems, reduce inappropriate and
unnecessary use of antimicrobials and work across sectors to expand
research and development into new antimicrobial medicines, vaccines,
and diagnostic tools.”

In 2020, AMR caused far more deaths in the Western Pacific Region than
tuberculosis or HIV/AIDS. Compared to noncommunicable diseases, AMR
caused a similar number of deaths to diabetes, liver cirrhosis, and
breast cancer.

The report includes regional estimates prepared by the WHO
Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Control
at The University of Hong Kong on the health and economic impact of
AMR for 7 bacterial pathogens — methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
(MRSA), Escherichia coli (E. coli), Enterococcus
, Haemophilus influenzae, Klebsiella pneumoniae,
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Streptococcus pneumoniae. 2 of the
pathogens, MRSA and E. coli, will account for more than 80% of
deaths — roughly 4 million lives — over the next decade.

AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites change over
time and no longer respond to medicines, making infections harder to
treat and increasing the risk of disease transmission and severe
illness. As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics and other
antimicrobial medicines become ineffective and infections become
increasingly difficult or impossible to treat.

In the context of this study, AMR refers to antibiotic resistance,
that is resistance to medicines that treat bacterial infections. The
report excludes resistance to other antimicrobial agents, such as
those that treat viral, fungal, or parasitic infections, to avoid
duplication of other work on diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV, and

Region targets progress on tackling AMR

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