Prince William warns of ‘urgent need’ for action on drug-resistant superbugs as world at ‘crucial juncture’

Prince William warned of the “urgent need” for action on drug-resistant superbugs as the world is at a “crucial juncture.”

The Prince of Wales delivered a speech at an event celebrating efforts to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR).


The prince warned that there is a need for new medicines and vaccines to protect future generations from the growing threat of AMR.

He also said the world is at a “critical juncture” where the connections between climate change and drug resistance should not be ignored.

Prince William made a speech at an event about antimicrobial resistance

PA

He said: “There is an urgent need for new measures to access new and existing vaccines, diagnostics and medicines.

“We stand at a critical juncture where the interconnections between drug resistance, climate change and environmental degradation cannot be ignored.”

Speaking to experts and Government ministers, the prince continued: “Rivers are polluted with antibiotics and oceans are filled with micro-plastics containing resistant bacteria. Meanwhile deforestation is playing havoc with ecosystems facilitating the emergence of new infectious diseases.

“Unless we act now and together, the ripple effects of drug resistance will be felt across generations, jeopardising the wellbeing of our children and our grandchildren.”

Prince William

Prince William said that there was “urgent need” for new vaccines and medicines

PA

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when the microbes that cause infections develop resistance to treatments like antibiotics making infections almost difficult or impossible to treat.

The prince described the process as “indiscriminate” affecting “all countries and income levels.”

AMR causes 12,000 deaths in the UK and five million global deaths each year, which is set to rise to 10 million by 2050.

The conference entitled The World Together Solving the Antibiotic Emergency was hosted by the government and the Royal Society.

Prince William

Prince William is a patron of the Fleming Initiative

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AMR is referred to as a “silent pandemic” and is a cause which the prince has cared “passionately” for over the years.

Kensington Palace sources told the Telegraph that the prince feels it is an issue that everyone should care about but is not widely understood.

He hopes that by lending his name to the cause it will help raise public awareness of the issue.

William concluded his speech stating: “Today, I call upon you once more to act. To create a real legacy in 2024, for the sake of the millions affected by AMR now, and for the sake of the generations that will follow.”

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