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HomeHEALTH & LIFESTYLEAnti-microbial could claim 10 million lives globally each year by 2050 -Pfizer

Anti-microbial could claim 10 million lives globally each year by 2050 -Pfizer

By Ijeoma UKAZU

Health experts have raised concerns over the continuous rise of Antimicrobial Resistance, AMR, stating that if not tackled by 2050, antimicrobial could claim 10 million lives globally each year more than deaths from cancer.

Making the call during a webinar to mark the Antimicrobial Awareness Week, held between 18 and 24 November each year, Pfizer said that there was need for collaboration with governments, public health sector and the pharmaceutical industry for drug innovation to reduce antimicrobial resistance.

Pfizer noted that all actors must work together to take support measures that will enable continued innovation in the development of new antibiotics and vaccines to help curb the spread of AMR.

“AMR is a silent threat, but it is already here, and it urgently needs to be addressed,” the global drug noted.

The roundtable was attended by medical professionals; Professor Abdulrazaq Garba Habib and Professor Aaron Oladipo Aboderin, focused on the dangers and prevention of AMR, pointing that AMR occurs when antibiotics lose their effectiveness as pathogens and finds its way to resist their effects.

They said, “The more an antibiotic is used, the more pressure bacteria have to develop resistance. A silent killer, AMR is one of the biggest threats to global health today. Today it accounts for 700,000 deaths annually and by 2050 it could take 10 million lives globally each year – more than currently die from cancer.”

While delivering his presentation, Professor Abdulrazaq Garba Habib said, “Antimicrobial medicines are among the most precious medical resources the world has ever known. Alarmingly, they are losing their effectiveness. With especially low awareness among the public on the dangers of AMR, it is our responsibility as the medical community to educate patients about the condition.

“It is much like Covid-19; AMR pathogens can spread far and with speed, impacting people of all ages. There is a significant need for strong public health and prevention measures and extensive surveillance to help curb its spread.”

Also speaking, Professor Aaron Oladipo Aboderin noted that, “With a high cost to individual health and the wider economy, AMR is a critical risk if left unaddressed. Should AMR pathogens spread the way COVID-19 has, we will be facing another public health crisis. Today’s roundtable and similar forums are essential to raising awareness of the threats facing us if we do not invest in the development of medicines now to help prevent AMR.”

The Medical Director, East and Anglo West Africa, Pfizer, Dr. Kodjo Soroh, warned that, “AMR if left unchecked could lead to a scenario in which minor infections become life-threatening, while serious infections become impossible to treat.

“Despite the many challenges associated with developing anti-infectives, at Pfizer, we remain committed to our R&D efforts to deliver new and effective anti-infective therapies which target newly emerging and difficult to treat infections. Despite this, Pfizer remains committed to patients suffering from infectious diseases. In 2020 alone, 28 million patients were treated with a Pfizer anti-infective therapy – a number we expect to grow in the future.”

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