Antimicrobial resistance, or AMR, is a top ten public health threat (1).
In 2018, approximately 26% of infection-causing microbes exhibited resistance to antimicrobials used to treat them in Canada. This was estimated to result in 5,400 deaths and a 1.4 billion dollar healthcare bill that year.
Projected trends suggest resistance could escalate to 40% by 2050, contributing to a yearly estimate of 13,700 deaths and a 7.6 billion dollar impact on our healthcare system (6,24).
An increase in #AMR would also further increase (6,24):
- Inequity and inequality: Children, older adults, people living in overcrowded and/or poor housing conditions, Indigenous populations, and new Canadians are more at risk to suffer from an increase in AMR
- Stigma and discrimination: Being affected by AMR unequally, some social groups will face greater infection rates and thus could be the target of stigma and discrimination due to fear of infections.
Our best chance at slowing the spread of resistance is to first prevent infections, then avoid using antimicrobials unless it is necessary, and finally to always follow the full course of treatment* when we do use them.
You can also share this post with your friends, so that they too are aware of the challenges AMR represents for our future.
* Duration of antimicrobials courses have become shorter than they have been in the past, as they have been shown to be just as effective but with fewer side effects. It is a good idea to discuss with your prescriber and pharmacist about the most appropriate approach.