[Registration Closed] (Webinar) The 101st HGPI Seminar “Looking Back at the History of Infectious Diseases to Think About the Future of AMR Countermeasures – A Seminar in Commemoration of AMR Awareness Month” (November 24, 2021)

Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) will host Dr. Hiroshi Yotsuyanagi, the Director of IMUST Hospital, the Institute of Medical Science, the University of Tokyo and the President of the Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases, to discuss the history of infectious diseases and the outlook for future antimicrobial resistance (AMR) countermeasures. This seminar is being held in commemoration of “World Antimicrobial Awareness Week” organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and “Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Month” organized by the Cabinet Secretariat.

AMR is a naturally occurring process by which the microorganisms that cause infectious diseases grow resistant to treatments over time. Infections due to antimicrobial resistant bacteria do not respond well to antibiotics and, in the worst cases, can be fatal. In Japan, an estimated 8,000 people die annually from bloodstream infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and fluoroquinolone-resistant Escherichia coli.

Infectious diseases have been a serious challenge for humanity throughout its history. Most recently, COVID-19 has already claimed more than 5 million lives globally, and has reminded the world how destructive infectious diseases can be.

As the world continues to fight against COVID-19, many countries are looking toward the future and working to make stronger preparations for future infectious disease crises. Unfortunately, the next crisis is already here. AMR poses a serious threat to humanity. If the world does not take further steps to address this problem, it is estimated that by 2050, as many as 10 million people could be dying of AMR-related causes every year globally. Antibiotics are fundamental to modern medicine – not only do they cure infectious diseases, they also protect those who face a high risk of infection due to cancer treatment, organ transplants or other surgeries, dialysis, or childbirth.

To prevent the spread of AMR, in 2015, the WHO’s World Health Assembly adopted a “Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance.” Many countries around the world, including Japan, followed up on the Global Action Plan by creating their own national action plans for AMR countermeasures. Japan’s “National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2016-2020 (NAP 2016-2020)” expired in 2020 without the creation of a new plan. The creation and implementation of national action plans are crucial to the promotion of AMR countermeasures within the local context of each country around the world. However, there are many countries currently without action plans, and only a portion of countries with action plans have committed financial resources to funding them. The importance of redoubling efforts to prepare for future pandemics and infectious disease threats – especially AMR – in countries around the world was highlighted in many of the statements and communiques out of this year’s G7.

Starting in 2016, the Cabinet Secretariat of Japan has designated November as “Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Month.” This aligns with “World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW),” which has been set for November 18 to November 24 this year by the WHO. The theme of this year’s has been conducting educational and learning support activities worldwide under the slogan “Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance.” This seminar will be held to contribute to the goal of spreading awareness about this important public health problem in the month of November.

In 2018, HGPI founded AMR Alliance Japan, an independent platform that works to advance multisector policy debate on AMR. AMR Alliance Japan aims to 1) realize AMR countermeasures in line with the current situation faced by medical practitioners and patients; 2) promote the AMR on policy agendas domestically and abroad; and 3) create and promote policy recommendations on the actions expected of Japan on AMR.

Effective AMR countermeasures must take into account the history of humanity’s fight against infectious diseases. HGPI will invite Dr. Hiroshi Yotsuyanagi, President of the Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases and Alliance member, to give a lecture on this topic at this HGPI seminar. Dr. Yotsuyanagi has been at the forefront of infectious disease research as the Director of IMSUT Hospital, the Institute of Medical Science, the University of Tokyo, and is playing a leading role in Japan’s COVID-19 countermeasures as the President of the Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases. In this seminar, Dr. Yotsuyanagi will reflect on the history of infectious diseases and help participants deepen their understanding on the actions needed to advance AMR countermeasures.

Please note that this seminar is available in Japanese only. An English report of this event will be published in due course.

■ Speaker:
Dr. Hiroshi Yotsuyanagi (Director, IMSUT Hospital, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo; President, The Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases)

■ Date and time:
Wednesday, November 24, 2021 18:30-19:45 JST

■ Venue:
Zoom webinar

■ Participation fee:

■ Languages:
Japanese only

■ Capacity:

■ Profile:
Dr. Hiroshi Yotsuyanagi (Director, IMSUT Hospital, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo; President, The Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases)
After graduating from the University of Tokyo Faculty of Medicine in March 1986, Professor Hiroshi Yotsuyanagi served as a physician at the University of Tokyo Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical University. He was appointed Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Tokyo Institute of Medical Science Advanced Medical Center in July 2016. In April 2021, he became Director of the Institute of Medical Science, the University of Tokyo (IMSUT) Hospital. His main fields of expertise include infectious disease medicine (with a focus on viral diseases), infection control, hepatology, and gastroenterology.

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