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[Recommendations] Submission of recommendations to Public Comment on the “Draft Order of the Pandemic Influenza and New Infection Diseases Preparedness and Response Council” (March 25, 2021)

On March 25, 2021, the Health and Global Policy Institute submitted its opinions to a public comment on the “Draft Order of the Pandemic Influenza and New Infection Diseases Preparedness and Response Council.”

A summary of the comments is as follows. Please see the PDF file found here for details (information available only in Japanese).

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when the organisms that cause infectious diseases grow resistant to treatment. This problem can lead to otherwise preventable deaths due to infectious diseases. It is estimated that 8,000 people die annually from AMR-related causes in Japan, which is more than twice the number of annual traffic deaths. This number is comparable to the 8,835 deaths caused by COVID-19 so far in Japan (as of March 22, 2021).

Bold policies on AMR are urgently needed to prevent the loss of countless lives in the future. Based on the strong lead65tership of the government, Japan enacted a National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance in April 2016, which greatly contributed to the promotion of AMR measures domestically. Even though it is about time for the next action plan to be announced, there is no clear date for its release despite the many existing issues related to AMR.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how important it is to prepare for infectious disease problems ahead of time. AMR too is an infectious disease crisis. A Subcommittee on AMR should be established within the Government to consider AMR measures including the formulation of the next action plan.

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