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Leiden University joins the Just Transitions for AMR Working Group

Leiden University joins the Just Transitions for AMR Working Group, an interdisciplinary team of social science and humanities researchers who are exploring ways to mitigate the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance in a just and equitable manner, with due consideration to the human rights of present and future generations.

In January 2023, the British Academy awarded £1.5 million (€1.7 million) to the ‘Just Transition for Anti-Microbial Resistance’ (AMR) Working Group under its new Global Convening Programme. The project is led by Professor Sonia Lewycka and Professor Phaik Yeong Cheah of Oxford University. It brings together a global team of 20 researchers from the social sciences and humanities, exploring how ‘Just Transitions’ (a conceptual framework used in climate governance) could be applied to address the unequal burden of AMR. Dr Sheila Varadan from the Child Law Department and the African Studies Centre at Leiden University joins the Working Group, contributing a human rights/ child rights and global health perspective, along with Dr Rene Gerrets (Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development) and Dr Sander Chan (Radboud University) in the Netherlands.

The AMR challenge

Antimicrobial resistance is among the most urgent global health challenges of our time, with an estimated 4·95 million deaths associated with resistant bacteria in 2019. Planning for a future with antimicrobial resistance, and reducing its burden in clinical, social, and economic terms, will require taking notice of the unequal impact of AMR, and the human rights of the populations most affected by drug resistance in present and future generations. Using a ‘just transitions’ framework renders visible these inequalities, enabling a wider and deeper discussion on justice, equality, inclusivity and human rights in AMR governance and decision-making. Read the Commentary of the Just Transitions for AMR Working Group recently published in the Lancet on 8 September 2023 via https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(23)01687-2/fulltext.

Photo from left to right: Dr Edna Mutua (KEMRI-Wellcome Trust, Kenya), Professor Syed Masud Ahmed (Centre of Excellence for Health Systems and Universal Health Coverage (CoEHSUHC), BRAC University, Bangladesh), Professor Phaik Yeong Cheah (Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, University of Oxford, Thailand) and Dr. Sheila Varadan, Assistant Professor of Children’s Rights and Global Health, Leiden University

For more information about the Just Transitions for AMR Working Group, please see https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/projects/just-transitions-to-contain-antibiotic-resistance-while-minimising-potential-burdens-and-harms/ 

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