OTTAWA, ON, Oct. 17, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ - It is estimated that more than 5,400 Canadians die every year from infections caused by bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) costs our healthcare system $1.4B every year and is an urgent and growing threat to global health, with wide-spread socio-economic impacts.
Globally, AMR is associated with close to five million annual deaths, more than HIV/AIDS, malaria, or breast cancer. If left unaddressed, AMR could bring a return to an era where modern-day life-saving medical procedures, such as cancer treatments and joint replacements, would no longer be possible due to the risk of untreatable infection.
As AMR knows no boundaries and poses a threat to people around the world, global commitment, collaboration, and ambitious action is critical to combatting AMR. Today, I am pleased to announce we are joining international partners with a $300,000 contribution to help address AMR.
The funding supports SECURE, a newly created initiative with the mission to expand access to essential, life-saving antibiotics for countries and populations in need, and ensuring their appropriate use. SECURE's efforts will address the burden of infectious diseases and AMR in low and middle-income countries. SECURE was developed by the Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership (GARDP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), with support from UNICEF and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI).
Canada's contribution to SECURE's initiative will increase global AMR preparedness and support improved access to the antimicrobials upon which people around the world rely every day.
The hard-learned lessons of COVID-19 have demonstrated the importance of global readiness, collaboration, and equitable access to life-saving medicines for all. Just like COVID-19, AMR requires a united and concerted action.
In addition to our global cooperation, there are also individual level actions we can take to help address this public health threat. Next month we will recognize World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW). This year's theme is Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together. It's a good reminder that we can all play a part to help address AMR.
Individuals can take simple steps to reduce the spread of AMR. Keeping our vaccinations up to date, protecting ourselves from infections, speaking with a healthcare provider before using antimicrobial drugs, and using them as directed are some examples.
Lastly, it's important to recognize that, although life-saving, antibiotics are not always the answer.
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada
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