‘Superbugs’ Could Kill 10m People by 2050

‘Superbugs’ Could Kill 10m People by 2050‘Superbugs’ Could Kill 10m People by 2050

Antimicrobial resistance could kill 10 million people every year by 2050 - or one person every 3 seconds - unless global action is taken to tackle the problem. This is the conclusion of a final international review chaired by British economist Jim O’Neill, which sets out 10 areas that need to be addressed to combat the threat of “superbugs.”

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), or antibiotic resistance, occurs when microorganisms develop resistance to antimicrobial agents that once had the ability to kill them.

In 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) in its first report on AMR, declared that the world is heading toward a “post-antibiotic era,” where common infections that have been treatable for decades could kill once again. It highlighted the need for global collaboration in order to tackle the problem.

On the back of the WHO report, UK Prime Minister David Cameron enrolled Lord O’Neill to conduct a review of AMR and develop a plan to stop the world being “cast back into the dark ages of medicine.”

The final recommendations of this global plan have been released, and O’Neill claims that unless the plan is put into action, “we may reach a point where AMR causes more deaths than are currently caused by cancer,” the reported.

In the review, O’Neill sets out 10 points that need to be addressed on a global scale to reduce the threat of AMR.

The initiation of a global public awareness campaign is an urgent priority, in order to educate the general public - particularly children and teenagers - about the threat AMR poses to health worldwide, he says.

The report recommends international collaboration from campaign developers, industry experts, and non-governmental organizations to launch a global awareness campaign for AMR.

Another key priority is the development of new antibiotics. It has been decades since new antibiotics have been created, meaning we have been using the same ones repeatedly for years, fueling microorganisms’ ability to develop drug resistance.