World Health Day: Joint statement of Commissioner for Health John Dalli, Commissioner for Research Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs
In a joint statement the Commissioners said: "On the occasion of the World Health Day, we wish to raise awareness of the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance. Antibiotics, have led to a revolution in medicine, allowing us to treat previously deadly bacterial infections and save many lives. However, these gains are now in jeopardy as the overuse and misuse of antimicrobial agents have led to a steep rise in resistant organisms and infections, causing unnecessary deaths and suffering and generating avoidable healthcare costs. Following on from the 2001 'Community Strategy against Antimicrobial Resistance', the Commission has developed a series of initiatives to tackle this issue.
The success of many modern treatments, including organ transplants, cancer therapy and care of preterm babies depends in part upon effective solutions to the problem of antimicrobial resistance. So under the Seventh Framework Programme for research, the EU is funding work on prevention and control, aiming among other things to identify new resistant organisms, develop new drugs, provide faster diagnostic tests and analyse the effects of clinicians' prescribing practices. More needs to be done and the Commission is currently developing a new strategy. Health is also a right for all people in the world. With a yearly budget of €700 million euro, it constitutes a key area of action for the Commission. We are supporting developing countries to strengthen their health systems and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Notably through the €1bn MDG initiative launched this year."