COVID-19 has inflicted both beneficial and damaging effects on health systems responding to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Data shows that the positive impacts of the pandemic (including enhanced hygiene, mask wearing and widespread use of personal protective equipment), are likely to have been overshadowed by the negative effects: emerging AMR pathogens and mechanisms; further outbreaks and geographic spread of AMR to non-endemic countries; rising infections from multidrug-resistant pathogen; an overall higher burden of AMR. The multisectoral complexities of AMR and the totality of health systems challenge our ability to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on country responses to AMR. In this analysis, we synthesise international evidence characterising the role of the pandemic on the six key building blocks of health systems in responding to AMR across low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We apply systems thinking within and between the building blocks to contextualise the impact of one pandemic on another.
Photo by Gustavo Fring