World leaders attending the UN General Assembly, have vowed to fight the spread of drug-resistant infections.

The leaders made the pledge on Wednesday in New York at a high-level meeting they held on the sidelines of the General Assembly.

They pledged to regulate and study antimicrobial medicines used to combat bacteria, viruses and parasites in humans, animals and agriculture.

The leaders said they were committed to a global approach to address the root causes of the phenomenon known as antimicrobial resistance, which leads to the deaths of an estimated 700,000 people annually.

In his remarks at the meeting, UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, said that bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi could develop resistance to drugs or vaccines.

He said that over use and misuse of antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs in humans, animals and crops, could lead to resistance

“If we fail to address this problem quickly and comprehensively, antimicrobial resistance will make it difficult, if not impossible to provide high quality universal health coverage.

“It will also undermine sustainable food production,’’ the UN scribe said.

A source at the meeting, said that in the political declaration adopted at the meeting, the leaders committed themselves to developing national action plans to combat antimicrobial resistance.

They also pledged to monitor and regulate the use of antimicrobial medicines.

Joanne Liu, International President, Doctors without Borders, also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), welcomed the declaration.

He called on governments to implement “nationally-tailored plans” to fight drug-resistant infections. (dpa/NAN)

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