The Academy of Medical Sciences is today (Friday, 13th October) announcing the pledge from The Yusuf and Farida Hamied Foundation for a scheme to build stronger research links between the UK and India to jointly address the challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
The new five year Academy of Medical Sciences program will include a UK-India visiting professor scheme and two major scientific meetings, supported by The Yusuf and Farida Hamied Foundation.
Worldwide, at least 700,000 people die every year of drug resistant infections in diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS. It is predicted that by 2050 the number of deaths related to AMR will increase to 10 million people a year, making even routine minor surgery a serious risk.
Professor Dame Sally Davies DBE FRS FMedSci, Chief Medical Officer for England, has announced that we have reached "a critical point" and stressed that "we must act now on a global scale to slow down antimicrobial resistance."
The 'Yusuf Hamied-Academy of Medical Sciences UK India Exchange Programme on AMR' provides a timely opportunity to bring together leading researchers and to develop new capacity for international collaboration. It will focus on all aspects of AMR, including prevention and control of infection, environmental and veterinary science.
Over five years the scheme will support 25 visiting professorships between India and the UK and two major international scientific meetings on AMR, one in the UK and one in India. This will strengthen UK-India links to share knowledge, foster research collaborations, and increase awareness, which will deliver the ultimate goal of developing robust interventions to tackle AMR across the world.
This new scheme will be announced at the Call to Action event in Berlin, organized by the Wellcome Trust, in partnership the UK, Thai and Ghanaian Governments and the United Nations Foundation.
Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences said:
"Antimicrobial resistance is undoubtedly one of the most critical health challenges of our time. It is a threat that knows no borders so joint international efforts are the best way to tackle this issue.
"Through this program vital partnerships between the UK and India will be formed, developing concerted actions which will long outlive the duration of the five year scheme."
Dr. Yusuf Hamied, Trustee of the Yusuf and Farida Hamied Foundation, said:
"I am delighted to support this UK-India scheme initiated by Dame Sally Davies and the Academy of Medical Sciences. The incidence of AMR in India is alarming and has to be aggressively controlled. This scheme will certainly help and facilitate what is required to control AMR. Indian doctors, patients and the population will all benefit from this."
Professor Dame Sally Davies DBE FRS FMedSci, Chief Medical Officer for England, said:
"I am thrilled that the Yusuf and Farida Hamied Foundation are supporting concrete actions to address antimicrobial resistance through this exciting new partnership with the UK and India, which is being announced at the Call to Action on antimicrobial resistance in Berlin today."