What is it about?

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health crisis affecting all life forms. It refers to the ability of microbes to survive in the presence of drugs designed to curb them. AMR in the environment has a close link with Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH). However, little is known about this connection. As a result, this article explores how AMR and WASH relate to environmental health. Further, the article brings a human rights perspective to AMR and WASH. This is because both affect individuals and communities. It affects the poor much more, though. And this is at the local as well as global levels.

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Why is it important?

WASH has become a growing concern for policymakers over the years. On the other hand, AMR has recently emerged as a major concern in global health. The environment is what connects them. A good environment promotes better sanitation. This, in turn, limits the spread of resistant microbes. But AMR and WASH are often viewed separately. They are also not viewed from a more global perspective. This is due to the gaps in binding legal frameworks. How can these gaps be addressed? The authors opine that a human rights framework is the best way to do this. Such a framework should include the rights to life, health, water, food, livelihood, sanitation, and the environment. Thus, the article focuses on assessing environmental laws and the links between these ignored subjects. This article is especially important in the context of the 1972 Stockholm Conference. The conference brought the environment, economic development, and human rights together for the first time. It has been 50 years since this conference. This should encourage renewed interest in developing these aspects. KEY TAKEAWAY: The COVID-19 pandemic confirmed the importance of addressing AMR and WASH together. This will be integral in ensuring global health. It will also benefit individuals and communities who struggle with these issues.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The Regulation of Planetary Health Challenges: A Co-Benefits Approach for AMR and WASH, Environmental Policy and Law, July 2022, IOS Press, DOI: 10.3233/epl-219040.
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