Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

Interview with Rio Praaning Prawira Adiningrat, Secretary General of the PA International Foundation

Read the full interview HERE on (Chinese/English; 8 June 2018)

AMR is primarily caused by the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in humans and animals. Increasing scientific evidence demonstrates that pharmaceutical waste from human and animal excretion, along with inappropriate disposal (including the effluent from the pharmaceutical manufacturing process) is a growing concern in the development of resistance. According to WHO, total consumption of antibiotics exceeded 14,250 tonnes, in 65 countries (statistics from 2015 and 2016; data varies depending on country). Roughly 63,000 tons to over 240,000 tons are used illegally to promote animal growth and prevent disease in the EU and other countries as well.

On 15 September 2021 the European Parliament voted on a Motion for a Resolution introduced by Mr Martin Häusling, MEP (Greens/EFA, Germany) “establishing the criteria for the designation of antimicrobials to be reserved for the treatment of certain infections in humans”. In anticipation, PA International’s Secretary General sent a personal message to all Members of the European Parliament. Also the European Federation of Nurses and Health Care Without Harm Europe presented letters of support.

In the most affected areas, particularly Asia, antibiotics usage in husbandry has instigated a considerable deterioration in farm management below acceptable hygiene levels. This has been one of the causes which led to the outbreak of the African Swine Fever in China; the outbreak is decimating pork volume in China to around 20% by the end of 2019.

Production of antibiotics in India and China has caused extensive soil contamination and polluted surface water with active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), mostly antibiotics. Consequently, this pollution has claimed lives, with a death toll of 58,000 babies at birth annually in India. Such occurrences will only end when pharmaceutical industries, both in the EU and worldwide, stop working with such polluting facilities.

In 1999, the European Commission’s Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) strongly advised on the immediate mitigation of production, distribution and sales of antibiotics. No action was taken. The EU AMR Action Plan of 2017 is far less stringent in its recommendations in comparison to the 1999 SSC report. Unsurprisingly, the lack of coherent action is resulting in the death of at least 33,000 Europeans per year.

By 2050, given that no appropriate action is taken, AMR will have claimed 300 million deaths, with a cumulative total cost of 100 trillion USD to the global economy. And it only gets worse: according to the United Nations Inter-Agency Coordination Group (IACG) on AMR, the dawn of the post-antibiotic era is underway. Former World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Margaret Chan has stated that “superbugs haunt hospitals and intensive care units all around the world”. Unassuming infections have the tendency to become fatal. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has reported dramatic upsurge in infectious diseases, including gonorrhea, which have become incurable.

Therefore, in the last 6 years, the PA International Foundation has engaged in global actions to combat AMR, with the aid of the most renowned scientists, partners and relevant stakeholders. The European Parliament invited PA to organize a top-tier conference on AMR, which impacted on advancing policy-making within this field. Additionally, PA has been proactively engaged in both research and tests through cooperation agreements with the world’s leading research institutions such as the Institute of Animal Science in Beijing.

Moving forward, the PA International Foundation has launched a new global website, StopAMR, to develop an easily accessible and informative digital platform, for the general public and other relevant target groups, including scientists, hospitals, farmers, or individuals who experienced AMR personally or their loved ones. 

International Partnerships

Signing AMR Cooperation Agreement INDOHUN-PA, PA Jakarta Office, October 2019

The loss of Susan Fallon’s daughter to an antibiotic resistant superbug was a waste of a beautiful young life that could so easily have been avoided. Watch her statement during the 28 June 2017 AMR conference in the European Parliament.

Presentation by Dr. Widjaja Lukito, former Special Advisor to the Indonesian Minister of Health (2006-2009) and former Secretary to a Member of the Advisory Council of the Indonesian President (2010-2014), currently Senior Health Advisor at PA, at the Broiler Feed Quality Conference in Bangkok on 21-22 August 2019: How Many AMR Deaths Will It Take Before We Act?