Dentists should be consulted about AMR, FDI tells WHO

13 February 2017 Antimicrobial resistance

Invited to comment on a report by the Secretariat of the World Health Organization (WHO) on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), FDI highlighted that dentists are among the major prescribers of antibiotics, estimated at between 7–11 % of all antibiotic prescriptions, depending on the country.

FDI therefore advised governments to consult with national dental associations (NDAs) when developing their AMR national action plans, called for in the 2015 ‘Political declaration of the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on antimicrobial resistance’, issued at the 68th World Health Assembly (WHA68).

Building on FDI’s antibiotic stewardship work

FDI’s comments, which addressed agenda item 7.2 on AMR at the 140th session of the WHO Executive Board (EB140), drew inspiration from the AMR Symposium held during FDI 2016 Poznań with speakers Dan Meyer and Michael Glick. Work has been continuing since then with FDI Science Committee taking the lead in this area.

EB140 was advised of the antibiotic stewardship work FDI is undertaking and how it is a key collaborating partner for WHO at both a global level, as well as a national level through its member associations. FDI will pursue its AMR work in 2017 by consolidating existing evidence and identifying current national guidelines to identify best practices and develop recommendations.

“Continued efforts to combat antibiotic resistance will require all prescribers, including dentists, to examine prescribing behaviours for appropriateness and the effectiveness of current guidelines to identify opportunities to optimize antibiotic use,”
concluded the FDI statement.

The Science Committee Forum taking place on 29 August 2017, during FDI’s World Dental Congress in Madrid will focus on the topic of AMR where the dialogue around this issue will continue.

AMR: A global crisis

“This is a crisis, and it is global,” said WHO Director General Dr Margaret Chan of AMR. It is now a major issue of concern not only for the medical but also for the veterinary and agricultural communities, with the involvement of three international multilateral United Nations agencies – the WHO, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

Given the urgency of the AMR crisis, UN Member State countries are now in the process of developing national plans aligned with the objectives of the global AMR action plan with the support of a WHO manual, Antimicrobial Resistance: A manual for developing national action plans.

Global AMR action plan

The aim of the WHO Global Action Plan on antimicrobial resistance, endorsed at WHA68, is to ensure for as long as possible continuity of successful treatment and prevention of infectious diseases with effective and safe medicines that are quality-assured, used in a responsible way, and accessible to all who need them.

It sets out five strategic objectives:

  1. to improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance;
  2. to strengthen knowledge through surveillance and research;
  3. to reduce the incidence of infection;
  4. to optimize the use of antimicrobial agents; and
  5. develop the economic case for sustainable investment that takes account of the needs of all countries, and increase investment in new medicines, diagnostic tools, vaccines and other interventions.