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Tulane University

Publication Date

Fall 2019

Program Name

Switzerland: Global Health and Development Policy


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the most urgent and complex health risks of our time, with links to human health, animal health, and the environment. The majority of research and policy related to AMR, however, has been dedicated to human and animal health. The third dimension — the environment — has been relatively neglected. Conversations about this problem have begun, but gaps in understanding remain. This study explores the key barriers that have hindered developments related to the environmental aspect of AMR and some of the solutions that have begun to or could be utilized to overcome these barriers.

A grounded theory approach was used to critically analyze qualitative data from expert interviews and field observations, quantitative data from the Global Database for Antimicrobial Resistance Country Self Assessment, and supplementary data from scientific and gray literature. While this study revealed many barriers — including characteristics of the issue like its complexity, gaps in research, conflict with existing norms and priorities, leadership failures, and country-level differences — just as many, if not more, solutions were identified. These included awareness-raising campaigns, emphasis of the links between AMR in the environment and other prominent issues like climate change to boost funding for research, increased surveillance, the introduction of policies to enhance coordination and collaboration among international agencies and national ministries, the inclusion of environmental leaders in the development and implementation of plans to combat AMR, and technical and financial support for developing countries. These and other solutions will be crucial not just to overcoming the neglect of the environmental aspect of AMR, but also to tackling this global health threat as a whole.


Biostatistics | Climate | Data Science | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology | Environmental Policy | Environmental Studies | Health Policy | Microbiology


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