AMR: WHO urges journalists to disseminate accurate information

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The World Health Organisation (WHO), has stressed the global impact of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), urging journalists to disseminate accurate information, advocate for responsible reporting, and shape public perception. AMR Expert at WHO, Dr. Chavan Laxmikant, made the appeal during the Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ), 7th Annual Conference in Akwanga, Nasarawa state.

The workshop highlighted the challenges posed by AMR, including increased healthcare costs and a potential 10 million annual deaths by 2050, emphasizing the need for urgent action. Media partnership was underscored as a crucial element in the fight against AMR, with a call for increased coverage frequency, fact-checking, and responsible reporting. His presentation concluded with a plea for active media involvement in combating AMR through accurate information dissemination and collaboration with key stakeholders.

WHO also highlighted its roles in combating Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) which include, “Ensuring monitoring and evaluation. A new indicator on AMR was introduced among the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicators to monitor the frequency of bloodstream infections due to specific pathogens. “WCO have supported the development of AMR M&E plan which is aligned with SDG, Muscat declaration and WHO AFRO targets through identified KPIs. “Setting global research and development priorities in AMR. New antimicrobials are urgently needed. However, the clinical pipeline of new antimicrobials is dry. Greater innovation and investment are required in research and development of new antimicrobial medicines.

“However, if people do not change the way antibiotics are used now, these new antibiotics will suffer the same fate as the current ones and become rapidly ineffective. “Developing a new antibiotic can take 10-15 years and cost more than 1 billion USD. Be responsible with what we have. “Improving awareness and understanding of AMR through effective communication, education, and training. The level of awareness around is not sufficient as compared to the magnitude and urgency of the problem.

“Raising awareness is an important step towards bringing behavioral change on the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials among various actors. “WCO supporting WAAW campaigns but also involved media and other key stakeholders to raise awareness and improve knowledge”.

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