Global Health Centre

A Conversation with ... Marc Sprenger, Director, AMR Secretariat, WHO

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The Graduate Institute, Maison de la Paix | Geneva

This event took place in the context of the first World Antibiotic Awareness Week, which was held from 16 to 22 November 2015. The campaign aimed to increase awareness of global antibiotic resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers, and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.

Following the adoption of the global action plan on antimicrobial resistance at the 2015 World Health Assembly, a secretariat was established within the World Health Organization to coordinate an Organization-wide approach to antimicrobial resistance, working with all WHO programmes carrying out technical activities required for implementation of the global action plan.

The global action plan sets out the key actions that the various actors involved should take over the next 5 - 10 years. These actions are structured around five strategic objectives:

• improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance;
• strengthen knowledge through surveillance and research;
• reduce the incidence of infection;
• optimize the use of antimicrobial medicines; and
• develop the economic case for sustainable investment that takes account of the needs of all countries, and increase investment in new medicines, diagnostic tools, vaccines and other interventions.

Dr Marc Sprenger is the first Director of the AMR Secretariat at WHO and will join the dialogue session at the Graduate Institute. Prior to joining WHO, he was Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in Stockholm, Sweden and Director-General of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in Bilthoven, the Netherlands. A national of the Netherlands, Marc is a medical doctor, medical microbiology specialist and has a PhD in epidemiology.
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