Countries are making significant steps in tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR), but serious gaps remain and require urgent action, according to a new report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The report looks at factors relating to the use of antimicrobials in humans, animals and plants/the environment – as recommended in the Global Action Plan published in 2015.
The report charts progress in 154 out of 194 WHO Member States contacted and reveals wide discrepancies.
Progress in developing and implementing AMR plans has been greater in high-income than low-income countries but all countries have scope for improvement, the report states. No country reports sustained capacity at scale in all areas.
On a positive note, 105 countries have a surveillance system in place for reporting drug-resistant human infections and 68 countries have a system for tracking consumption of antimicrobials. In addition, 123 countries reported that they have policies to regulate the sale of antimicrobials, including the requirement of a prescription for human use.
But implementation of these policies varies and unregulated medicines are still available in places such as street markets, the report notes.