Home > News > Antimicrobial resistance in maternity units in low and middle income countries – A call to action

The topic of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) will be a priority at the 71st United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) this week. To coincide with the UNGA, Soapbox’s Chief Scientific Officer, Professor Wendy Graham and colleagues have published an important paper in Global Health Action discussing the threats of AMR for maternity units in low- and middle income countries.

Global attention towards AMR and the threat it presents to current and future health has gained huge momentum in the last two years. Whilst AMR links to several of the 17 new Sustainable Development Goals, the threat of AMR to women and children in low- and middle income countries has been relatively neglected.

The paper discusses the urgent need to prioritise improvements in quality of care during pregnancy, delivery and the post-partum, linking quality of care to the prevention of healthcare associated infections and the use of antibiotics in their treatment. It goes on to discuss the state of water, sanitation and hygiene on maternity units in low income countries and the reliance on antibiotics for infection prevention in these environments.

The paper highlights the notable lack of evidence base on AMR in maternity units and goes on to urge the academic and international development community to play their part in identifying a research agenda, taking into account three main themes – strengthening tools, metrics and measurement systems;  developing and evaluating interventions; and improving the knowledge base on human behaviour around AMR. Read the full article here and join the pledge, with Soapbox and WaterAid to support the fight against AMR in healthcare facilities.

Photo: 2009_UNFPA_courtesy of flickr