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Antimicrobial Resistance

16 November - 17 November 2015, Brussels (DG SANTE)


The Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (SANTE) of the European Commission and the European Journalism Centre (EJC) invite 30 expert journalists in the field of health to the seminar "Antimicrobial Resistance" in Brussels on 16-17 November, which will coincide with the EU launch of the European Antibiotics Awareness Day.

Anti-microbial resistance (AMR) is an important global economic and a societal challenge, of a scale and complexity comparable to climate change, which cannot be tackled by countries or public administrations alone: it requires a strong partnership where the EU needs to play a decisive role.

Antibiotics have dramatically reduced the number of deaths from infectious diseases during the 70 years since their introduction. However, through overuse and misuse, many micro-organisms have become resistant to them. In the first decade of this millennium alone global consumption of antibiotics in human medicine rose by nearly 40%. Today, there are 25.000 deaths attributable to AMR every year in the EU, with an estimated cost of EUR 1.5 billion due to loss of productivity and increased healthcare costs.

Unless stringent action is taken, the consequences for human health could be devastating: Many current medical practices such as organ transplants, chemotherapy and most forms of surgery will be a thing of the past. It is estimated that 10 million lives will be lost every year by 2050, more than the number of people currently dying from cancer annually, with a cumulative cost of 100 trillion USD, more than 1.5 times world GDP today. The effect on the sustainability of the health systems would be disastrous.

This workshop will feature panel discussions as well as on and off the record talks with senior representatives of the European Commission and other international organisations and agencies.

Journalists will also have the possibility to exchange views with Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis on the Commission's priorities in the area of health.

This event is exclusively catered for specialist and expert journalists in the field of health.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Elise Rochez as soon as possible at rochez@ejc.net, inserting a few lines on your motivation and, if possible, including links to articles you may have written on the subject. We will inform you shortly thereafter if your invitation is confirmed.

The organisers will cover flight, accommodation and most meals.

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