Patient safety

First International Consultation on Antimicrobial Resistance

23-24 July 2008
Geneva, Switzerland

This first meeting of an international advisory group on antimicrobial resistance took place at WHO Headquarters in Geneva in July 2008.

A number of key issues arose at the meeting:

  • There is a pressing need to be able to quantify the problem of antimicrobial resistance; to help us understand the extent of the problem and allow us to articulate and advocate the need for further action. The morbidity and mortality associated with antimicrobial resistance, together with the financial burden, is currently not adequately measured. Measuring this must be a priority for further action.
  • A potential link with the International Health Regulations (IHR) may be a very powerful tool for the implementation of work emerging from this group, and close cooperation with them will be essential.
  • The problem is wider than simply antibacterial activity. Any action in this area must also include viral disease, malaria and other forms of infection.
  • There is a need to address anti-infective drug use in both humans and animals. Collaboration with the agricultural sector will be essential.
  • Wider partnerships, including with industry, civil society and consumer organizations will be fundamental to the success of this project.

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