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GLOBAL HEALTH LEADERS UNITE TO CONFRONT URGENT PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS OF ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE

The Global AMR Diary to ignite awareness and catalyze action to shape policy and saves lives




May 7, 2024 (Washington DC) - The Partnership to Fight Infectious Disease (PFID) and a collective of influential global health leaders, including public and private health organizations today announced the launch of The Global AMR Diary, an online platform created to raise awareness of the escalating crisis of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) through the power of storytelling. Awareness that is desperately needed because significant worldwide efforts to date have yet to penetrate global consciousness about this public health emergency.

 

"Antimicrobial resistance is an urgent global public health threat that poses risks to modern medicine, the health of humans, animals, plants, the environment, and the global economy. Antimicrobial resistance has the potential to affect people at any stage of life, regardless of health status, and is already present in all regions of the world. We all have a role to play in addressing this threat and slowing the spread to protect people and save lives," says Michael Craig, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Antimicrobial Resistance Coordination and Strategy Unit, which leads the U.S. public health fight against AMR.

 

The Global AMR Diary will gather the stories of those affected by AMR—patients, parents, other caregivers, healthcare providers, and biotech innovators— with the goal of shifting perspectives and shaping policy.

 

By bringing together diverse voices and experiences, it will showcase a compelling narrative that not only educates and informs but also motivates stakeholders at all levels to take action. These stories are poised to transform the AMR crisis from a distant concept to a relatable and urgent reality.

 

The Global AMR Diary launch date of May 7 was chosen to coincide with the publication of Diary of a Dying Girl, by Mallory Smith, who died from a superbug infection in 2017. Her deeply personal writings provide a powerful narrative arc, illustrating the devastating impact of AMR through the intimate lens of her day-to-day struggles. The Global AMR Diary seeks to leverage the emotional and impactful narrative of Mallory's life to encourage more patients, families, and healthcare professionals to document their personal encounters with AMR.

 

"Combating AMR goes beyond policy–it is a moral imperative,” says Mallory's mother, Diane Shader Smith. "Global health leaders have long been gathering impactful narratives of those affected by AMR. The Global AMR Diary brings these stories together in a shared commitment to address one of the most daunting health and humanitarian challenges of our times."

 

Those leading the charge on AMR stand in solidarity and explain how The Global AMR Diary will help address the lack of awareness, the urgency of this crisis, and the imperative for coordinated action.

 

Dr. Danilo Lo Fo Wong, Regional Adviser on the control of Antimicrobial Resistance, WHO Regional Office for Europe said: “WHO has been sounding the alarm on antimicrobial resistance for decades, but many people still don’t feel it can affect them personally. The global AMR community needs to find other ways to communicate this message clearly. Personal stories can break the silence and bring the impact of AMR closer to home.  I look forward to the development of ‘The Global AMR Diary’.”

 

The United Kingdom's Special Envoy on Antimicrobial Resistance, Professor Dame Sally Davies: "Behind every statistic is a story – a real person with family and friends who are impacted by the global antibiotic emergency. We need greater awareness to drive action, so I am delighted and inspired by the Global AMR Diary. This is personal and it's time to act, together."

 

CARB-X's Kevin Outterson, Esq., Executive Director, "Bacterial infections kill millions of people each year, more than HIV, TB, and malaria combined. With each death, we lose a real person: a beloved child, parent, colleague, or loved one. We need to clearly see the impact of these infections at home and around the world. One way to fight back is to tell our stories, so future generations don't suffer as we do now."

 

AMR Industry Alliance's Melissa Gong Mitchell, Secretariat Lead, "Current public awareness and understanding of – and therefore action on – AMR is dramatically low and disproportionate compared to the massive human, economic, and societal toll of AMR the world over. The Global AMR Diary project will be a powerful tool in our advocacy efforts because it will show through personal accounts that this crisis is with us now and that regardless of where you live, your race or ethnicity, your income level or age, we are all at risk."

 

Global Coalition on Aging's Michael W. Hodin, CEO, "The time for action is now as the AMR crisis already impacts millions of lives around the world and is projected to kill more people than cancer by 2050.  The impact of AMR will continue to be catastrophic as we move to a world without effective antibiotics."

 

Kim Czubaruk, JD, Associate Vice President of Policy at CancerCare, "Cancer patients undergoing treatment often have compromised immune systems which make them particularly susceptible to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Understandably, this elevated medical risk may contribute to social isolation which imposes a toll on the emotional well-being of cancer patients. The Global AMR Diary will shine a much-needed spotlight on the dangers of AMR and its far-reaching consequences for cancer patients and all communities around the world."

 

John F. Crowley, President & CEO of Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), “Drug-resistant infections are an urgent problem and a leading cause of death from disease in the U.S.  Their impact will only rise as superbugs continue to outsmart our existing antimicrobial treatments. We must act now to help address this global public health crisis and support the research and development of new, innovative treatments for patients. The Global AMR Diary is an energizing new project that will shed more light on the people impacted by superbugs and help raise awareness of the threat we all face with antimicrobial resistance.”

 

It is estimated that bacterial AMR was directly responsible for 1.27 million deaths globally in 2019 and contributed to 4.95 million deaths. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated this significantly. Antimicrobials are the backbone of modern medicine – joint replacement, cancer treatment, organ transplant, cesarean section and more – but the development of new antimicrobial treatments is woefully far behind the increasing demand. Putting a human face on this global emergency is critical to motivating action that can change the course of this escalating health crisis.

 

Please visit www.GlobalAMRDiary.org for more information, share your story and share #GlobalAMRDiary broadly to support efforts to fight AMR and save lives.

 


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