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Resistance to antimicrobials and infections associated with the medical act, on the table of European health officials

Today, March 1, 2019, took place in Bucharest, under the Presidency of Romania at the Council of the European Union, the Conference “Next Steps to Making the EU a Good Practice in Combating Resistance to Antimicrobials”.

The event was attended by dignitaries and experts in the field of human, veterinary and environmental health from the Member States.

Speaking at the debates, Sorina Pintea, Health Minister, said:

 “The time to act is now!” Many infections produced by multi-resistant bacteria can become a threat to life. “WHO opinion is that AMR is one of the top 10 risks to global health in 2019 and also in the years to come. It is time to act now, because the optimal period of intervention drains rapidly. Without immediate measures, common to the human, animal and environmental sectors, more and more infections will affect the lives of patients, but also the health systems and economies in Europe and globally. Reaffirming the determination to combat Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) with continuous efforts at a high political level in the Community, underlining the critical need to accelerate the development and implementation of National Action Plans in the Member States under the One Health concept, the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union strongly supports the achievements made in previous mandates by other states. The successive EU presidencies chose to focus on the subject of AMR policy in order to maximize the impact of such an important theme.”

The conclusions of the debates show that, although at the European level there are legislation, regulations and procedures in this area, they have to be respected and implemented to overcome the gaps between states. EU Member States need to reinforce the “One Health” approach need to include besides human, animal and environmental health, also the financial and educational aspects in order to achieve the objectives of the National Action Plans.

Specialists and officials present in Bucharest stressed that for the future, research is needed to find new alternatives to antimicrobial therapy and to implement national measures to reduce AMR in the animal and food sector and to monitor the environment in order to assess the spread AMR.

Prevention and control of infections is a priority in the field of public health, but important investments are needed and Member States should understand that countries investing in this area, adequately, have much to gain in the field of economic development.

Improving communication and coordinating MS actions on specific AMR issues, timely notification and information sharing to prevent the spread of AMR, coordinated response to tackle the AMR threat, screening and preventive measures in hospitals for “high-risk”, are some of the conclusions of today’s Conference.

Resistance to antimicrobials and infections associated with the medical act is a matter of concern to Member States, as an increase in antimicrobial resistance is registered in Europe, due to the irrational use of antibiotics. This is also one of Romania’s main themes.

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