Although the key focus of this supplement is related to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in a sexually transmitted infection, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the purpose of this article is to highlight the wider public health impact of AMR and the need for different disciplines of health to coordinate and collaborate in their selection and use of antimicrobial agents. AMR is being detected in health areas ranging from simple drugs used to treat common bacterial infections to the complex formulations used to treat tuberculosis, malaria and HIV infection, and on all continents. Tackling and containing AMR present an ordeal to international and national health authorities on many fronts. In June 2012, WHO launched the WHO Global Action Plan to Control the Spread and Impact of Antimicrobial Resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae with a vision to enhance the global response to the prevention, diagnosis and control of N gonorrhoeae infection and mitigate the health impact of AMR through enhanced, sustained, evidence-based and collaborative multisectoral action. This global action plan is positioned within a long-standing commitment of WHO to the issue of AMR with the launch of the Global Strategy on AMR in 2001 and World Health Day on AMR in 2011.
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