Antimicrobial Resistance Causes Nearly 5 Million Deaths Annually

  • 24 May 2024

In May, 2024, Lancet study revealed that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) bacteria cause nearly 5 million deaths worldwide each year, contributing significantly to the global mortality rate from bacterial infections.

Key Points

  • Global AMR Death Toll: Nearly 5 million deaths annually are attributed to AMR bacteria, forming a significant portion of the 7.7 million deaths from bacterial infections.
  • India's AMR Impact: In 2019, India recorded approximately 10,43,500 deaths associated with AMR, highlighting the urgent need for action.
  • Prevention Strategies: Improving hand hygiene, regular cleaning, sterilization in healthcare, safe drinking water, effective sanitation, and paediatric vaccines can prevent over 750,000 AMR-related deaths annually in LMICs.
  • Understanding AMR: AMR occurs when microbes become resistant to antimicrobial medicines, making infections difficult or impossible to treat and increasing disease spread and mortality.
  • Causes of AMR: The misuse and overuse of antimicrobials in humans, animals, and plants drive the development of drug-resistant pathogens, endangering modern medical advancements.
  • Challenges in Asia and Africa: Inadequate access to effective antibiotics, poor laboratory testing, and insufficient surveillance exacerbate the AMR burden in parts of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Paediatric Vaccines: Expanding paediatric vaccines, such as pneumococcal vaccines, and introducing new ones could save 181,500 lives annually.
  • Cost and Access to New Antibiotics: Developing new antibiotics alone is insufficient; ensuring access and affordability is crucial to reducing deaths from resistant bacterial infections.