Patients' representation in tackling AMR under the One Health Approach

March 4, 2024

In February 2024, the AMR Patient Group was invited to participate in two important events on the most recent actions undertaken by the EU against antimicrobial resistance proposed under the One Health approach. Launched in 2017, the One Health approach aims to combat AMR by addressing human, animal, and environmental health together, recognizing their interconnectedness and the need to maximize synergies for an effective response against AMR.

As representatives of European AMR patients, we first attended the kick-off meeting of the second European Union Joint Action on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare-Associated Infections, also known as EU-JAMRAI 2, which took place on 13th February in Paris. Following the successful results of the first EU-JAMRAI, the EU project will now gather 30 countries across Europe (EU27 together with Iceland, Norway and Ukraine) and more than 120 partners worldwide to take concrete actions to tackle AMR through a four-year funded program.

Its main objective is to enhance the capacity of the participating states to prevent and control AMR and HAIs by fostering collaboration in capacity building, inter-sectoral action, support of national activities and education training under the 50 million euros grant from the European Commission.

The AMR Patient Group will contribute as a stakeholder of EU-JAMRAI 2 by representing patient voices during internal consultations and actively engaging in raising awareness about the dangers of resistant microbials and the importance of responsible antibiotic usage among European citizens.

During the meeting, we called for a more concrete involvement of AMR patients in the development of rapid, effective, and sustainable solutions against AMR, starting from the very first steps of solutions development. We raised this question to the panelists, suggesting a bigger role for patients not to feel isolated or involved only at later stages, but to fully participate in activities led by institutions, research centres, industry, representing those affected by the cross-border threat of AMR.

On the 29th of February, AMR patients' voices were also represented at the AMR One Health Network meeting chaired by the European Commission in Brussels. We were invited to discuss updates on ongoing actions against AMR under a comprehensive strategy along with other high-level representatives and leaders in the field. The meeting touched upon latest developments in research and monitoring, the state of play of the Council's recommendations, and various other initiatives involving inter-sectoral professionals.

In the past weeks, we were more than happy to join a first-hand commitment in the united action against AMR, reflecting the fundamental essence of the One Health approach. Only through joint efforts we can reach the 2030 targets set by the Council's recommendations and to mitigate the impact of AMR causing 35,000 deaths each year in the EU/EEA and affecting 1.3 million people globally.

We are happy and encouraged to see that the fight against AMR is gaining such momentum and we hope that it will remain on the top of the priority list after the European elections. Our task to represent patients' voices, sharing their stories and making them a fully integrated actor in this fight is as relevant as ever and we are proud to be able to take this journey together with our members, supporters and associates.