Swedish strategy to combat antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance is a problem of global dimension that affects us all. The use of antibiotics is linked to both the emergence and the spread of resistance.

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Modern health care depends on antibiotics, particularly in connection to medical procedures that involve an increased risk of infection, e.g. cancer treatment, transplantations and operations. Infections caused by resistant bacteria can have serious consequences, from protracted hospitalisation to increased mortality. This means suffering for patients and increased costs for health and medical care. Similarly, infections involving resistant bacteria can cause financial losses in the livestock industry and animal suffering. The World Economic Forum has identified antibiotic resistance as a global risk beyond the capacity of any organization or nation to manage or mitigate alone.

Sweden have a long tradition of a broad and preventive approach and have as a result a favourable resistance situation. Over the years Sweden have developed a high level of expertise which is highly recognised in international forums. This applies to policy issues, but also to the research area, where Sweden has been deeply involved for several years, playing a role in the international Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance. Sweden will continue to engage in advocacy and set a good example.

This strategy points out the direction of Swedish efforts and is also intended for international actors wishing to benefit from Swedish knowledge and experience.