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Antimicrobial Resistance

Volume 687: debated on Tuesday 19 January 2021

What progress the Government have made through international co-operation on tackling antimicrobial resistance. (910980)

The UK is a global leader in promoting action on antimicrobial resistance. It is an international priority. We helped achieve the 2016 UN political declaration on AMR, and UK aid contributes significantly to AMR efforts around the world. This includes our flagship Fleming fund, which builds capacity on AMR in lower and middle-income countries, focusing on investments in water, sanitation and hygiene; healthcare facilities; and broader health systems strengthening.

A leading Oxford-based professor of microbiology today described covid as “the short, sharp earthquake” and antimicrobial resistance as

“the massive tsunami in the background.”

On the basis that AMR in pigs and chickens has trebled in developing nations since 2000, will my hon. Friend press for more action to limit the unnecessary use of antibiotics in humans, pigs and chickens?

This is a really important point. My hon. Friend has taken a keen interest in this topic for some time in this place. We absolutely recognise the risks to human health of the inappropriate use of antimicrobials in agriculture and food production, as seen through our national action plan. The vast majority of global antimicrobial use, as he will probably be aware, is in agriculture. We are a major funder of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research, which supports low and middle-income countries in controlling agriculture-associated AMR risks and is working to understand how antimicrobials are used, by whom and how that contributes to the misuse of antimicrobials.