WHO announces the members of the first Taskforce of AMR Survivors

The World Health Organization has announced the members of the first Taskforce of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) survivors. The members of the Taskforce are expected to serve as champions who can help shape the AMR narrative globally and influence policies that affect AMR. They are also expected to contribute to improvements in AMR messaging so that the ‘human face’ of AMR is presented alongside messages that increase awareness of AMR.

The call for expressions of interest was published in 2022; and selection was made based on compelling nature of the stories and ability to contribute at a global level. The Taskforce is constituted by people who have survived drug-resistant infections themselves or cared for those with serious drug-resistant infections. The Taskforce has representation from those who survived drug resistant bacterial, tuberculosis, HIV and fungal infections.

AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites no longer respond to antimicrobial agents. As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents become ineffective and infections become difficult or impossible to treat, increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.

Survivors of AMR infections and their caregivers have unique perspectives on the detection, diagnosis, treatment, and care they received (or did not receive). Their ideas and experiences on how patients, health care providers, and communities can better deal with drug-resistant infections are invaluable and can help shape improved patient-centered care. Patient stories can help humanize a complex, technical health and development challenge.

The inaugural meeting of the WHO Taskforce of AMR Survivors is being held at WHO Headquarters, Geneva, on 10-11 October 2023. Eleven members of the Taskforce are participating in the meeting, which will develop an agenda and workplan for the group.

The members of the Taskforce are:

  • Anthony Darcovich, USA
  • Bhakti Chavan, India
  • Brandon Jaka, Zimbabwe
  • Felix Liauw, Indonesia
  • Gabriella Balasa, USA
  • John Kariuki Muhia, Kenya
  • Mashood Lawal, Nigeria
  • Nour Shamas, Lebanon
  • Rob Purdie, USA
  • Sue Charles, UK
  • Tori Kinamon, USA
  • Vanessa Carter, South Africa
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