His words, “Some of the world’s most common – and potentially most dangerous – infections are proving drug-resistant. And most worrying of all, pathogens don’t respect national borders. To date, 25 high-income, 20 middle-income and seven low-income countries are enrolled in WHO’s Global Antimicrobial Surveillance System’.
He said, for the first report, 40 countries provided information on national surveillance systems with 22 also providing data on antibiotic resistance levels, adding that the quality and completeness of data in this first GLASS report vary widely.
Sprenger noted that, some countries face major challenges in building their national surveillance systems, including a lack of personnel, funds and infrastructure.
In his own remark, WHO Surveillance System Coordinator, Dr Carmem Pessoa-Silva r,said the report was a vital first step towards improving our understanding of the extent of antimicrobial resistance.
“Surveillance is in its infancy, but it is vital to develop it if we are to anticipate and tackle one of the biggest threats to global public health, WHO is supporting countries in setting up national antimicrobial resistance surveillance systems to produce reliable, meaningful data, with GLASS helping to standardise data collection for a more complete picture of patterns and trends.”
‘Solid drug resistance surveillance programmes in tuberculosis, HIV and malaria have been functioning for years – estimating disease burden, planning diagnostic and treatment services, monitoring control interventions effectiveness and designing effective treatment regimens to address and prevent future resistance. GLASS is expected to perform a similar function for common bacterial pathogens,” he said.