The recently 2019 published global data report indicates that drug-resistant infections were responsible for up to 4.95 million deaths.
Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI)I Director General, Roma Chilengi says 1.27 million of the total deaths were attributed to Antibiotic Resistance.
Professor Chilengi who is also Health Advisor to the President says Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the greatest burden of resistant bacterial infections which accounts for 255-thousand of the 1.27-million global deaths.
He said it is further projected that if no measures are put in place by 2050, there would be more than 10 million AMR deaths and 28.3 million more people living in poverty.
Professor Chilengi said as part of the remedial measures, Zambia has developed a 10-year multi-sectoral Antimicrobial Resistance-AMR national action plan and that it is among the thirty-nine African countries in the region to have the AMR National Action Plan in place.
Professor Chilengi has, however, called for the development of the national AMR policy framework to guide the implementation of the activities across sectors.
He was speaking in Lusaka during the Antimicrobial Resistance -AMR Policy Formulation meeting which was attended by a team from Ministries of Health, Livestock and Fisheries, Agriculture and ZEMA, AMRCC and other partners including ECSA and React.
And East Central and Southern Africa (ECSA) Health Commission Senior Control Officer Evelyn Wesangula stated that antimicrobial resistance is a growing public health threat and that the commission is keen on supporting the global response and commitments aimed at addressing antimicrobial resistance.
Dr Wesangula has also called on the countries in the region to actualize the national antimicrobial resistance plans.
Meanwhile, Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) National Focal Person and Coordinator, Joseph Chizimu said the unavailability of policies and guidelines for antimicrobial resistance remains a challenge in developing countries.
Dr Chizimu has urged investment in human resources for antimicrobial resistance aimed at addressing some of the hurdles currently faced.