With the dangers posed by superbugs and the inability of many antibiotics to treat them, there is a new call for action in the form of a global effort that’s similar to the one designed to take on climate change.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently warned that drug-resistant bacteria poses a growing threat as more and more people are prescribed antibiotics to fight infections. The problem is, some of those prescriptions are not necessary, and the more the antibiotics are used, the more resistant the bacteria become to them.
There’s also a global shortage of antibiotics, which adds to the issue.
Writing for Foreign Policy, engineer and policy analyst Riju Agrawal argued that the nations of the world need to come together to help prevent the spread of deadly superbugs that he said nearly killed his grandmother.
“Like global climate change, the scourge of antibiotic resistance is a problem that will require some form of coordinated global action,” Agrawal wrote. “It isn’t enough for the United States or the EU alone to get tough on antibiotic use.
“In a world where anyone can fly from Shanghai or Bombay to New York in 15 hours, bringing resistant bacteria along with them, countries such as China and India must also join this fight.”
Agrawal proposed the idea of drawing up an international agreement like the Paris climate accord to help deal with the rise of superbugs.
“Mirroring the Paris climate agreement, a global framework that enables countries to make individually determined contributions to help fight antimicrobial resistance may be the best way to assemble a broad coalition of actors and galvanize interest in the shared challenge ahead of us,” argued Agrawal, adding that nations could also receive financial rewards as part of the agreement.