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Julian Sturdy - Strong Voice for York Outer

Julian Sturdy

Member of Parliament for York Outer

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Julian Leads Debate on Antibiotic Resistance

November 17, 2017

Yesterday, Julian led a debate in Parliament to mark World Antibiotics Awareness Week.

The annual event aims to make antimicrobial resistance a globally recognised health issue. World Antibiotics Awareness Week seeks to raise awareness of the importance of preserving the power of antibiotics through appropriate use, and to increase the recognition that individuals, professionals and governments must all play a role in tackling antibiotic resistance.

Antimicrobial resistance undermines the ability of antibiotics to fight bacterial infections and is described by the World Health Organisation as “one of the biggest threats to global health”. Widespread resistance could lead to a medical Dark Age where routine operations cannot be carried out and standard infections become deadly.

Opening the debate Julian, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Antibiotics, stated that without necessary action antimicrobial resistance would be responsible for 10 million deaths per year by 2050. Julian then proceeded to call on the Government to consider recommendations made last week in a report published by the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

The evidence (spanning October 2014 to March 2017) reviewed for the report suggested that although some EU member states successfully implemented many of the WHO recommendations, some appear to have been overlooked.

Speaking after the debate, Julian said: “The UK should be proud of the work it has done so far in meeting the objectives of the EU Action Plan, and the WHO Europe Strategic Action Plan.

“However, there are areas where there aren’t enough objective and tangible outcomes by which to measure success. We also think there’s a need for us all to be more consistent with the terminology, the areas of compliance, and the recommendations.

In concluding his debate, Julian drew attention to the scale of the threat AMR poses in the future by stating: “We have been immensely fortunate to have been born and grown up in the world of the antibiotic age. However, there is a very real possibility that the next generation’s children will be born into a post-antibiotic age; and that thought is quite terrifying.


To read the debate in full please click here.