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World Health Assembly: Principality of Monaco supports GARDP’s effort to control drug-resistant neonatal sepsis

Geneva, 29 May 2019 – At the 72nd World Health Assembly, during which antimicrobial resistance was a priority topic on the agenda, the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) announced a contribution from the Prince’s Government to support its programme to control neonatal sepsis in South Africa, where antimicrobial resistance is a significant problem.

© Kaya Bulbul/GARDP - H.E. Carole Lanteri, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva, and Dr Manica Balasegaram, Executive Director of the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP).

Infectious diseases are the main cause of death and disability in children and more than half of all deaths in children under five are of newborns (up to 28 days). It is estimated that drug-resistant infections are responsible for 214,000 neonatal sepsis deaths every year (*). The situation is made worse still by the increase in antimicrobial resistance.

“GARDP would like to thank the Principality of Monaco for its support,” said Dr Manica Balasegaram, Executive Director of GARDP. “This funding meets an urgent public health need: the development of antibiotics to treat neonatal sepsis. The network of clinical trials in South Africa will also be part of a global children’s antibiotics platform.”

The Monegasque funding will help to develop new antibiotic treatments and a scientific database for the effective use of antibiotics to improve medical care for newborns and children.

 “Monaco is delighted to be part of the community of nations supporting this GARDP initiative,” emphasised Ms Bénédicte Schutz, Director of International Cooperation for the Prince’s Government. “Reducing infant mortality, which is what this is about, remains a priority for the Principality’s official development assistance, and we are pleased to note that South Africa, a partner country for Monaco’s International Cooperation, is at the heart of this initiative.” 

*: Laxminaryian R. et al. Access to effective antimicrobials: a worldwide challenge. Lancet.   2016 Jan 9;387(10014):168-75. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)00474-2. Epub 2015 Nov 18.

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