The increase in AMR is compromising the ability to treat infectious diseases, as well as undermining many other advances in health and medicine. Improved infection control compliance across a range of healthcare settings and addressing the attitudes and behaviours of prescribers is essential to curb the trend of increasing treatment-resistant bacteria and prevent healthcare-associated infections.
In Ireland, the consumption of antibiotics is relatively high by European standards. Ireland has the ninth highest rate of antibiotic consumption outside of the hospital in 30 countries. Irish pig farmers give their animals up to four times as much antibiotics as Danish farmers and the transfer of resistant bacteria through the food chain is an ongoing challenge. Epidemics of diseases and infections like tuberculosis and pneumonia could hit Ireland again and become non-treatable as antibiotic resistance increases to crisis levels.
While progress has been made in addressing AMR in Ireland, much work remains to be done.
At the event, Dr. Kieran Clarke, Alere’s Global Product Director – Pneumonia and Antimicrobial Stewardship, alongside guest speakers that included Philip Howard, Consultant Antimicrobial Pharmacist, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Dr. Akke Vellinga, Epidemiologist, NUI Galway, put forward steps to aid the government and the HSE in the fight against antibiotic resistance. The Government has committed to publish a National Action Plan on antimicrobial resistance in May 2017, in line with commitments made by the Government to the World Health Organization (WHO).