Antimicrobial Resistance and Faith-linked Healthcare Providers

May 30, 2017

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Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major global risk and a topic where religious actors have the potential to play significant roles. Partly due to the over- and improper use of antibiotics, AMR contributes to the development of resistant strains of diseases that can lead to longer and more complex illnesses, frequent doctor visits, the need for stronger and more expensive drugs, and potentially more deaths. The World Health Organization 2015 action plan highlights AMR as a deepening global crisis. In response, Georgetown University helped organize a conference at the Vatican in December 2016 where experts met to develop plans for religious NGOs, scholars, and policymakers to help combat the spread of AMR. Historically, faith-linked organizations have been integral in providing health services around the world, such as administering vaccines, facilitating health education, and bridging gaps between government health structures and local communities. Thus, they are on the front lines of battling AMR.

This week, the Berkley Forum asks: What are significant cooperative efforts between secular health organizations and facilities run by faith-linked organizations around the globe, and how can communications on the ground be improved? Are there disconnects or significant gaps? Are faith-based health workers properly trained to understand issues like AMR? What hesitations might global health organizations and other governance structures have that would prevent them from working closely with faith actors?

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