The report – Prevention first: Why clean water and hygiene are the best medicine against the spread of drug-resistant infection – was led by The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Antibiotics and APPG on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and bought together experts from across the world to highlight the issue and solutions, including experts from WHO, UNICEF, The University of Oxford and healthcare workers on the frontline of this crisis.
Drug-resistant infections already cost the NHS £1 billion a year – and are predicted to be the leading cause of UK death by 2050. Most of the multi-drug resistance infections treated in the UK are picked up in other countries. The report highlights the worrying lack of clean water and decent sanitation in around half of the world’s healthcare centres – meaning that infections spread much more easily. Investing in healthcare facilities decreases the demand for antibiotics, breaks the chain of infection and removes the opportunity for resistant infections to become dominant.
To mark the launch of the report healthcare professionals from across the country staged a flash mob within parliament, calling on the government to take action against the risk of antibiotic resistance. The doctors and nurses were joined by actors from the Edinburgh fringe sell-out musical The Mould That Changed the World, a musical about Alexander Fleming and the creation of antibiotics.