York researchers’ publication addresses global preparedness and response to next pandemic

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York researchers call for serious investigation and protection against the threat of future pandemics through global antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Along with this call for international action, the World Health Assembly also agreed to begin the process of developing and establishing global pandemic control and response conventions that would be legally binding on nations.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), antimicrobial resistance is the developed resistance and mutation of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites to drugs, antibiotics, and other drugs over time. As we have seen the COVID-19 virus evolve in real time, researchers and doctors are increasingly concerned about international preparedness and response to the next pandemic, which researchers say is a certainty – not a possibility. .

In order to achieve this goal, researchers around the world recently published a study entitled “Governing Global Antimicrobial Resistance: 6 Key Lessons From the Paris Climate Agreement” in the American Journal of Public Health, dealing with the global governance of AMR. Led by York researchers, the paper suggests using the 2015 Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as an example for addressing and applying antimicrobial resistance techniques around the world. .

“The latest estimates suggest that 1.27 million people die each year from AMR, making it one of the deadliest challenges we face today. Our article identifies essential elements of a global strategy to deal with this threat, which are extremely relevant to the discussions on improving global governance currently taking place at the UN and WHO,” says Isaac. Weldon, a doctoral candidate in political science at the Faculty of Liberal Arts and the University of York. Professional Studies, lead author of the study and representative of other researchers affiliated with York.

The publication highlights six lessons learned from the Paris Agreement in building targeted global action. First and foremost on the list is to set an unambiguous goal for each nation to achieve. Weldon and his team of international researchers are currently focused on establishing such a goal.

“For me, the most important thing to keep in mind is that any goal should be fair and fairly determined. Any attempt to govern global health requires confronting questions such as who is included in our design of the “global”, as well as what is our understanding of a “universally desired global future?” not just questions of justice, but answering these questions well will actually help make the goal a communication tool more efficient,” says Weldon.

Besides antimicrobial resistance, researchers are also expanding their focus to other types of future pandemics, such as those transferred from humans to animals, as COVID-19 originally began, which are called zoonotic diseases. . Weldon stresses the need to fight resistance from all types of future pandemic threats.

“The question of the next pandemic is not a question of if, it is a question of when. COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease, while AMR is another pathway through which pandemic threats can emerge. The next pandemic could be zoonotic or due to AMR. The difference is that the next zoonotic pandemic is a risk that we must try to prevent and prepare for – it is a potential event that will occur in the future.

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