3 Words: Access. Watch. Reserve.

The WHO announced a new campaign yesterday that doubles down on the “invisible pandemic” of antimicrobial resistance, urging countries to adopt its new digital tool to expedite the process.

Antibiotics have saved millions of lives, but their effectiveness is waning as deadly “superbugs” increasingly outsmart them, SBS News reports.

The AWaRE tool divides antibiotics into 3 groups: access, watch and reserve. The tool also designates drugs that should be used for the most common and most serious infections, those that should always be available and those to deploy only as a last resort.  

AWaRE has 2 chief goals, according to CIDRAP: For all countries to report their antibiotic use by 2023, and to grow the use of “access” drugs to 60%. These “narrow spectrum” drugs are less costly and less prone to resistance.

65 countries currently track antibiotic use; just 29 reach the 60% threshold for access antibiotics.

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