10 facts on antimicrobial resistance

Updated August 2017

Many of the medical breakthroughs of the last century could be lost through the spread of antimicrobial resistance. Previously curable infectious diseases may become untreatable and spread throughout the world. This has already started to happen.

The report “Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance 2014” showed that antimicrobial resistance is everywhere and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country.

In April 2015, WHO published a “Worldwide country situation analysis: Response to antimicrobial resistance”. It revealed that while much activity is underway and many governments are committed to addressing the problem, there are major gaps in actions needed across all 6 WHO regions.

This fact file describes the threat of drug resistance, some of its main causes, and how WHO is helping to lead the global response.

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