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Webinar: Is “co-existing” with microbes the key to addressing AMR?

Over the past century, the discovery of antimicrobials has changed how we live with microbes, shifting our relationship with them.  

Antimicrobial resistance (“AMR”) happens when antimicrobial medicines stop working against germs (or microbes). This challenge is a fundamental outcome of our society’s relationship with microbial worlds. Yet the way we currently deal with AMR isn’t working. Seeing AMR as just a medical problem or as a “war on superbugs” is setting us up to fail. Instead, we should see AMR as a never-ending challenge connected to how humans have evolved with microbes. Otherwise, we will be stuck in an arms race that we cannot win. 

The new Perspectives on Politics publication, “Fit for Purpose?” Assessing the Ecological Fit of the Social Institutions that Globally Govern Antimicrobial Resistance, looks at whether our current system of global governance is capable of sustainably managing the relationship between human societies and invisible microbial worlds. It encourages us to instead consider how human societies fit within the basic features of microbial ecosystems, similar to checking if a key fits a lock. 
 
This panel discussion features insights from the study, with the authors delving into the research, sharing their findings and responding to audience questions.


Resources

Academic publication: “Fit for Purpose?” Assessing the Ecological Fit of the Social Institutions that Globally Govern Antimicrobial Resistance

Summary document: The War on AMR is not working: a new ecological perspective on AMR offers insights for global governance


Panelists

Dr. Isaac Weldon specializes in using political and social science methods to enhance global responses to health challenges. His research encompasses critical political science approaches to understand global health issues, interdisciplinary methods for addressing antimicrobial resistance, and exploring the political dynamics of evidence use in policymaking to achieve a balance between technical and governance considerations. 

 
Dr. Steven J Hoffman is the Dahdaleh Distinguished Chair in Global Governance & Legal Epidemiology, Director of Global Strategy Lab, Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Governance of Antimicrobial Resistance, and the Vice-President of Data & Surveillance with the Public Health Agency of Canada. His research leverages various methodological approaches to craft global strategies that better address transnational health threats and social inequalities. 

Discussant

Dr. Clare Chandler is a professor of medical anthropology at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Her research is primarily ethnographic but also incorporates historical, epidemiological and interventional approaches. Dr. Chandler’s long-term research has taken place in Uganda and Tanzania and she has also led studies in Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Zimbabwe, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and the United Kingdom. She has been appointed as an expert advisor on multiple governmental, inter-governmental, funding and research committees. 

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Redefining Antimicrobial Resistance

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