Opinion Former Article

Britain’s AMR Centre granted 100 million dollars to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance

It's being described as a "grave threat" and now - a new centre in the North West is teaming up with the US to fight against antibiotic resistance, which claims 25,000 lives a year in Europe.

In a bid to help tackle this major problem the AMR Centre in Cheshire has got funding.

Derek Butler, Chair of MRSA Action UK, told Rebecca Pukiello of BBC’s North West Tonight “Losing three family members has had a massive impact. It’s changed the family for ever.”

Derek Butler from Kirkham has lost his uncle, grandfather and stepfather to MRSA.

“It's a superbug that is tough to treat because of its resistance. The general public, they are totally unaware that antibiotics save lives. And we would never live without them.”

It is a problem globally, President Obama has been addressing it, speaking in 2015 he said “It costs tens of thousands of deaths and millions of illnesses.” He has pledged many thousands of dollars to tackle the crisis. One of the beneficiaries being The AMR Centre based in Cheshire which stands to receive 100 million dollars, and on 28 July the Head of AMR received the good news from the US Department of Health.

Dr Peter Jackson, Head of AMR in Cheshire said “We will be able to accelerate more new products through preclinical and clinical testing and ultimately with the aim of developing new drugs, diagnostics, or vaccines, that will prevent patients suffering from the threat of antimicrobial resistance.” Over time bacteria naturally become resistant to antibiotics, and with over use and misuse this contributes to the problem. Without investment like this, death rates are expected to rise dramatically, and by 2050 it will be predicted there will be 10 million deaths worldwide due to resistant infections, that's more than currently claimed by cancer.

“As a dad, it's something that I worry about, for my kids. In the future. But what we are hoping to do he will be a small but absolutely critical part of that.”

The centre plans to employ 75 scientists by the middle of next year to develop new antibiotics for the future.

Derek added “It will take more than just this initiative, governments around the world need to consider investing in the future of tackling AMR for today’s children and those yet to be born. Let us not forget that antibiotics underpin modern healthcare today, without them modern healthcare will no longer function as we know it.”

Derek Butler
MRSA Action UK
email: derek.j.butler@mrsaactionuk.net
Telephone: 07762 741114


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