Deputy Health Minister Appeals for Joint-Measures to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance

Bali, August 24, 2022 – Deputy Minister of Health of the Republic of Indonesia dr. Dante Saksono Harbuwono said there is an increasing prevalence of microbe-driven antibiotic resistance cases. Currently, 1.27 million people die each year from infections of drug-resistant pathogens.

Since the discovery of antimicrobials 70 years ago, millions of people have been spared from diseases. The potential of antibiotics to treat or prevent diseases has led to an increase in their use to the point where they are abused, obtained without a prescription, and frequently abused in humans, animals, plants, and the environment. As a result, evolving antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurred.

“The wide-ranging impact of AMR is steadily increasing in various sectors including the economy. Experts estimate AMR can cause a decrease in global annual GDP by 3.8 percent by 2050. We must prevent this from happening and make lasting changes,” said Deputy Minister of Health Dante at the opening of the 3rd G20 HWG Side Event which raised AMR issues on Wednesday (August 24) in Bali.

AMR can make treatment difficult. As more and more diseases go untreatable, life-saving treatments become much riskier, and healthcare costs rise.

“In the spirit of strengthening the global health architecture, we must refocus our efforts to address AMR,” said Dante.

Each country can jointly restrain AMR through a number of efforts, including the application of one health approach, increasing AMR surveillance, increasing laboratory and diagnostic capacity.

Cross-cutting monitoring of antimicrobial use and consumption is critical to understanding and monitoring AMR. Sufficient data also influences decision-making at national, regional, and global levels.

In addition, it is also important to improve research and development of AMR, especially in new drugs, vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics (VTD), also antimicrobial diagnostic services. Moreover, more broaden measures for infection prevention and control is required.

The Deputy Minister of Health said that other efforts were made by increasing investment in research, capacity building, and technology utilization.

“AMR threatens health, the economy, and the achievement of the SDGs. To grow our global research and development capacity, we must secure sufficient and sustainable funding,” said Dante.

Dante considered that like COVID-19, AMR could potentially become a pandemic if the use of antibiotics was not regulated.  It is important to implement policies, laws, and ongoing commitments to ensure responsible access to antimicrobial use.

“We look forward to G20 member countries to strengthen sustainable AMR prevention and control measures at national and global levels. The G20 is the ideal forum to do this,” said the Deputy Minister of Health.

Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo said the increasing human population and rampant human activities had an effect on environmental degradation. It has had a significant impact that poses a health threat.

In this case, according to Yasin, the one health concept approach provides an option to ensure that all stakeholders from different disciplines can work together to solve this health problem.

“We must also understand that antimicrobial resistance is a serious threat to the sustainability of food security in livestock and animal health sectors,” said Minister Syahrul.

The Ministry of Agriculture together with other ministries/agencies, as well as related stakeholders have drawn up a strategic plan and roadmap in efforts to control antimicrobial resistance.

“We hope that our future steps will be stronger and more integrated in the framework of the one health cooperation,” said Syahrul.

In line with this, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Sakti Wahyu Trenggono said antimicrobial resistance is one of the world’s biggest health challenges and has been designated as one of the 10 biggest health threats to the world community.

Antibiotics abuse is suspected as a triggering factor for the increasing incidence of antimicrobial resistance.

“The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries will always be committed to taking an active role in efforts to prevent antimicrobial resistance,” said Wahyu.

The increasing rate of fishery products from year to year indicates the increasing level of fish consumption. As one of the world’s largest fishery producers, Indonesia is challenged to continuously strive to increase fishery production and meet demands in the fisheries sector.

“We understand that the health of fish and all fishery products can affect human health, so it is important for the community and business actors to continue to strive to increase fishery production and meet consumption needs from the fishery sector.

“We understand that the health of fish and all fishery products can affect human health, so it is important for the public and business actors to be aware and understand about this,” said Wahyu.

Wahyu said that his party will optimize the supervision and application of sanctions for violations, distribution, and use of antimicrobials that do not meet standards in the fisheries sector.

“In order to realize national health, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries will optimize the one-health approach through various data and information from oversight results,” said Wahyu.

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