UK (Parliament Politic Magazine) – The government has announced today, Wednesday 16 August, that it will provide up to £210 million in funding to support state-of-the-art laboratories, cutting-edge disease surveillance systems, and an expanded global workforce in the fight against deadly antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
This funding, sourced from the government’s UK aid budget, will be allocated to the activities of the Fleming Fund over the next three years. The aim is to combat AMR in countries across Asia and Africa, thereby mitigating the threat it poses not only to the UK but also to the global community.
The Funding Will Enable To Detect and Respond To AMR Outbreaks
By investing in advanced laboratories and innovative disease surveillance systems, we are equipping ourselves with the necessary tools to effectively address the growing challenge of AMR. This funding will enable us to bolster our efforts in countries most affected by this issue, ensuring that we can detect, monitor, and respond to AMR outbreaks swiftly and effectively.
The initiative aims to enhance surveillance capabilities in 25 countries with the highest prevalence and impact of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), such as Indonesia, Ghana, Kenya, and Papua New Guinea. To achieve this, more than 250 laboratories will be upgraded and equipped with cutting-edge technology.
Notably, the investment will include the implementation of new genome sequencing technology, enabling the tracking of bacterial transmission among humans, animals, and the environment. Furthermore, this investment will contribute to the reinforcement of the global healthcare workforce.
Training Sessions For Hospital Staff Will Be Supported By The Funds
It will support 20,000 training sessions for laboratory personnel, pharmacists, and hospital staff. Additionally, over 200 Fleming Fund scholarships will be provided to enhance expertise in microbiology, AMR policy, and One Health. The latter recognizes the interconnectedness between humans, animals, and the environment.
By bolstering surveillance capabilities and strengthening the international health workforce, this initiative aims to combat the growing threat of AMR effectively. Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay, emphasized the urgent need to address the global issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This silent killer poses a significant threat to people’s health not only in the UK but also worldwide. As we gather here at the G20 in India, AMR will be a crucial topic of discussion.
The gravity of this issue cannot be overstated. It is imperative that we halt the spread of AMR and prevent it from claiming more lives across the globe. To achieve this, we have allocated record funding, enabling the countries most vulnerable to tackle this menace head-on. By doing so, we aim to create a safer environment for all, both domestically and internationally.
The Investment In AMR Laboratories Will Be Highly Beneficial
Around 1.27 million people worldwide die each year as a result of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). This occurs when bacteria have evolved to the point where antibiotics and other current treatments are no longer effective against infections.
Shockingly, one in five of these deaths are children under the age of five. In the year 2019 alone, AMR was responsible for causing between 7,000 and 35,000 deaths in the United Kingdom.
Dame Sally Davies, the UK Special Envoy on AMR, expressed her pride and delight in the ongoing efforts of the UK’s Fleming Fund. This fund continues to make a significant impact in combating AMR and strengthening global pandemic preparedness. By utilizing data to drive action and stimulate investment, the fund is making a tangible difference on the ground across the world.
The investment made by the UK in AMR laboratories, workforce, and systems is truly world-leading. It represents a crucial contribution towards achieving our shared vision of a world free from drug-resistant infections.
Funding To Facilitate The UK-India Fleming Fund Partnership
The investment will facilitate the implementation of the second phase of the UK-India Fleming Fund partnership, in collaboration with India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. With a value of up to £3 million, this initiative aims to expedite cooperation in antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance across various sectors of One Health.
Furthermore, it will assist both nations in achieving their respective 2030 roadmap goals.
During his visit to India, the Secretary of State will have the opportunity to visit India’s National Centre for Disease Control. This visit holds great significance as it signifies the collaboration between the Indian government and the Fleming Fund in their joint efforts to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.