New UK-India research project takes aim at antimicrobial resistance

New UK-India research project takes aim at antimicrobial resistance

A five-year programme aimed at helping to tackle the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been unveiled.

The Yusuf Hamied-Academy of Medical Sciences UK India Exchange Programme on AMR was announced on Friday by Professor Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, who has highlighted the need to act on a global scale in order to slow down antimicrobial resistance.

It’s estimated that globally, at least 700,000 people die each year of drug resistance in illnesses such as bacterial infections, malaria, HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis. Experts believe the number of deaths related to AMR will increase to 10 million people a year worldwide by 2050, making even routine minor surgery a serious risk.

The new initiative will be run by the London-based Academy of Medical Sciences and funded through a £450,000 pledge from The Yusuf and Farida Hamied Foundation. The programme will support two major scientific meetings on AMR in Britain and India, as well as 25 visiting professorships between the two countries.

According to a statement released by the Academy of Medical Sciences, the UK-India exchange programme will serve to strengthen links and knowledge sharing, foster research collaborations and increase awareness.

Professor Sir Robert Lechler, the academy’s president, said: “Antimicrobial resistance is undoubtedly one of the most critical health challenges of our time. It is a threat that knows no borders so joint international efforts are the best way to tackle this issue.

“Through this programme vital partnerships between the UK and India will be formed, developing concerted actions which will long outlive the duration of the five-year scheme.”

Dr Yusuf Hamied, trustee of the Yusuf and Farida Hamied Foundation, said he was delighted to support the programme.

“The incidence of AMR in India is alarming and has to be aggressively controlled,” he said. “This scheme will certainly help and facilitate what is required to control AMR. Indian doctors, patients and the population will all benefit from this.”

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