South Africa: Where Is the Antimicrobial Resistance Rebellion?

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(file photo).

The global groundswell for climate action now has the force of what we in finance would call a momentum trade. Antimicrobial resistance meanwhile, seems stuck in what we would call a value trap. But it won't stay there forever.

The threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is being overshadowed by the menace of climate change. Though the AMR problem is arguably equal in importance, it has not commanded nearly the same level of public awareness.

One reason for this is obvious: the climate crisis is becoming an increasingly visible phenomenon. We Brits are no longer alone in obsessing about the weather. From staggering heatwaves in Europe and droughts in South Africa and Asia to wildfires in Brazil, Indonesia, California and the outskirts of Sydney, the effects of climate change are evident everywhere. These constant images have created a groundswell of public opinion. Helped along by climate activists like Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion, business leaders and policymakers are now more focused on climate change than ever before.

But what about AMR, and specifically the growing resistance to standard antibiotics? Media outlets around the world still regularly cite the two big takeaways from the independent Review on Antimicrobial Resistance that I led...

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