If left unchecked, drug-resistant microbes could kill up to 10 million a year by 2050. Tackling the main cause – unregulated and overuse of antimicrobials in healthcare and in commercial farming – relies on greater public awareness, better use of drugs and improved public health surveillance. Data is important to identify patterns and trends in resistance, and to understand how antibiotic drugs are used, but many countries lack the systems to properly collect it. That’s why the UK-funded Fleming Fund is focused on strengthening AMR surveillance systems in low- and middle-income countries, where the threat to health is biggest and the systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of health-related data is often absent.
We’re working with UK Department of Health and Social Care to build surveillance capacity, improve laboratories and diagnosis, and upskill technicians, clinicians, epidemiologists and veterinarians, and influence policy change in 24 countries. Better and more comprehensive data will assist health professionals to make better informed treatment decisions, helping to save lives.