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One Health Approach to Combat Antibiotic Resistance in Developing Countries

Uwurukundo Stella Belise1,*, Nsanzabaganwa Christian2
1University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), Kigali, Rwanda
2The African Center for Research on End of Life Care (ACREOL)

The global use of antibiotics is increasing, and the global annual consumption of antibiotics for the treatment of infectious diseases is estimated at 70 billion doses per year [1]. Since the discovery of the first antibiotic, penicillin, in 1926 by Alexander Fleming and other antibiotics
discovered later, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was discovered as an anticipated consequence [2]. Even before antibiotics were discovered, some scientists argued that AMR was an inevitable natural pathway [3]. On the other hand, according to records, since the discovery of the first antibiotic used to treat human infectious diseases, doctors' and
veterinarians’ abuse and misuse of antibiotics has also affected the rise of AMR [4]. Today, approximately 7 million people die worldwide due to AMR, and it is estimated that by 2050 nearly 10 million people with infectious diseases worldwide will die each year from infections caused by antimicrobial-resistant organisms [5,6]. As AMR rises globally, treating
human, plant, and animal infections is difficult. AMR poses a threat to the progress of the healthcare system for the treatment of diseases in the entire

ecosystem [7]. In the case of Uganda, infectious diseases account for a 50% morbidity and 50% mortality rate [8]. Infectious disease resistance to antimicrobials has also led to longer hospital stays, increased drug costs, and increased morbidity and mortality [9]. To address this burden of disease, the Ugandan National Academy of Sciences made an analysis, in 2015, on antimicrobial resistance and reported increased threats of AMR [8]. The reasons behind AMR have been debatable. Some scientists agree that AMR is due to the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials among physicians, veterinarians, and farmers, while others argue it’s an inevitable natural consequence of antimicrobial use for the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases. This paper aims to show how AMR can be minimized through a multisector approach to improve health in developing countries.
Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria, fungi, and parasites adapt to antimicrobial drugs and stop responding [10]. AMR has been developing since the 20th century and is now a global health issue [4]. If no action is taken to curb AMR, it is estimated that global drug-resistant infections will increase, mostly in developing countries like Uganda, leading to extreme poverty[11].

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