[Press Release] Improving Infectious Diseases and AMR Surveillance (September 3, 2020)
AMR Alliance Japan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Improving Infectious Diseases and AMR Surveillance
New Recommendations from AMR Alliance Japan Call on Japanese Government to Strengthen the Domestic AMR Surveillance System
TOKYO, September 3, 2020 – AMR Alliance Japan today released a new set of recommendations calling on the Japanese Government to take steps to bolster the domestic antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance system.
Over time, the bacteria that cause infectious diseases grow immune to the drugs used to treat them. This naturally occurring process is called “antimicrobial resistance” (AMR). Unless countries across the world take measures against this problem, we could face a situation in which it is no longer possible to treat many deadly diseases. Already, it is estimated that as many as 8,000 people die every year of AMR-related causes in Japan, double the amount of people who die annually from traffic accidents.
AMR is a serious threat to the health of the Japanese public, yet there are still gaps in our knowledge about the current extent of its spread within Japan, and how to best combat it. Our knowledge about AMR is dependent on the data collected and organized by Japan’s infectious disease surveillance systems. Although Japan has made tremendous progress in the development of these surveillance systems over the past five years, there is still much that could be done to improve the way that AMR is monitored. For instance:
- It is hard to assess the risk of AMR on a regional basis because of a lack of information on patient outcomes in AMR surveillance data
- AMR infections are not defined in Japan’s Act on the Prevention of Infectious Diseases and Medical Care for Patients with Infectious Diseases, so there are no legal requirements to monitor AMR
- AMR infections are not being systematically monitored at elderly care facilities, outpatient facilities, or healthcare facilities with 200 beds or fewer. Furthermore, the state of antimicrobial use at these facilities is unknown
- The true extent to which antimicrobial-resistant organisms have spread among people, animals, and throughout the natural environment at a regional level is unknown, making it difficult to undertake localized countermeasures
AMR Alliance Japan’s new recommendations aim to solve these problems. They are the result of multiple consultations with internal and external infectious disease specialists over the course of 2020. They include recommendations on the digitization of infectious disease reporting, revisions to the Act on the Prevention of Infectious Diseases and Medical Care for Patients with Infectious Diseases to support AMR surveillance, and other measures. The full recommendations can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
AMR is a serious threat to the health of the Japanese public. Japan cannot defend against that threat without a clear understanding of it. AMR Alliance Japan calls on the Japanese Government to implement these policy recommendations and take the next step toward the creation of a truly robust surveillance system that can further protect the lives of the public.