Summary statement from meeting of 1st STAG-AMR
The Strategic Technical Advisory Group on AMR (STAG–AMR) is the principal technical advisory group to WHO on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
The STAG–AMR held its first meeting on 19 and 20 September 2013, at WHO’s Headquarters in Geneva. Chaired by Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer of the United Kingdom, the meeting brought together members of the STAG–AMR, technical teams from each of the WHO regions and observers and representatives from a wide range of partner organizations.
The purpose of the STAG–AMR is to advise the WHO Director-General on:
- WHO's strategic plan and priority activities to tackle AMR
- The major issues and challenges to be addressed by WHO with respect to achieving the strategic goals for AMR;
- The engagement of partners and outreach efforts to tackle AMR.
In her opening address, Dr Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, conveyed to participants the rising levels of concern now being expressed by Member States. This crisis, she argued, should not only be seen as an acute emergency in need of an immediate response, but also one that will require long-term effort to prevent a resurgence in the future. If the world were to lose antimicrobials, she stressed, modern medicine as it is currently understood, would also be lost. Dr Chan called on the Advisory Group to provide her with the best possible advice to enable WHO to take the lead in responding to this crisis.
After two full days of deliberation on all aspects of AMR, the Advisory Group reached consensus on their advice and recommendations. The Group acknowledged that for some specific diseases or pathogens, programmes are already in place that are addressing AMR, and concluded therefore, that the most pressing need in the near term was to focus on antimicrobial resistance related to bacteria.
The Advisory Group members were unanimous in calling for urgent action to address the growing public health threat from AMR.
The Advisory Group specifically recommends that WHO should lead and support Member States at global, regional and national levels in developing and implementing a global action plan for AMR. WHO should also support and guide Member States to develop and implement national action plans and policies for AMR. Within this framework, WHO should work with Member States to develop and put in place appropriate targets and outcome indicators that can be built into national, regional and global plans.
In making this call, the Advisory Group recommends that AMR should be positioned primarily as a health issue, while recognizing that it affects both human and animal health and that it has economic, social, and developmental dimensions.