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Business event: action against AMR
An inspiring event took place in the Malietoren (The Hague, Netherlands) on Wednesday, August 28, 2019. Action against AMR (antimicrobial resistance) was the central theme of the morning. It is a joint initiative of PUM, WIMM (Working Group on International Medical Microbiology of the Dutch Association for Medical Microbiology (NVMM) and the Medical Microbiology Department of the Radboudumc. The purpose of the event was to make an inventory of concrete opportunities Dutch business have to offer for companies and organisations in low and middle income countries.
Antimicrobial resistance is an urgent and fast growing threat to human health worldwide. This resistance is caused by overuse of antibiotics in healthcare, agriculture and livestock. More than half a million people die each year of infections by drug resistant bacteria. Spread of resistant pathogens is facilitated by insufficient infection control practices and by environmental contamination of food, water and soil.
The chairperson of The Royal Association MKB-Nederland (SME Netherlands, the largest entrepreneurs’ organization in the Netherlands), Mr. Jacco Vonhof, also an entrepreneur himself in cleaning industry, opened the event. He made a call to action stating the following: “In developing countries and emerging countries, we can help entrepreneurs to deal with AMR in a very pragmatic approach. It is up to us. Let's see if we can help other business”.
Maarten van Dongen is the founder of AMR Insights, a company that provides global information services and educational and partnering support to professionals in public and private organisations. “AMR can affect anybody, everywhere, any time. They cause global spreading due to travelling and transport”, according to Maarten.
Action against AMR
Theme coordinator health & environment of PUM is Titus Vissers. He spoke about PUM’s ambition to fight microbial resistance in an accessible and practical way – targeting different value chains (livestock, agriculture, healthcare, water treatment) – which are all sectors in which PUM operates, in over 30 countries. Titus: “A fight that is extremely urgent if we would like to prevent relatively simple infectious diseases from becoming a greater cause of death in the future than, for example, cancer”.
After the presentations, participants spoke about several business cases. During the discussion, they came up with six action points. One of those interesting points was that they jointly prepare a knowledge overview in the field of AMR. They would like to make this overview available to companies that would like to fight AMR.