Jan 13, 2023

Dr Haileyesus Getahun, MD, MPH, PhD — WHO — Leading The Fight Against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

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Leading The Global Fight Against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) — Dr. Haileyesus Getahun, MD, MPH, Ph.D., Director of AMR Global Coordination, World Health Organization (WHO)

Dr. Haileyesus Getahun, MD, MPH, Ph.D. is Director of AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance) Global Coordination at the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Quadripartite (FAO/UNEP/WHO/WOAH) Joint Secretariat on Antimicrobial Resistance. (

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi. AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. As a result, the medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others. Over 1.27 million deaths worldwide were attributed to AMR infections in 2019. Antimicrobials — including antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antiparasitics — are medicines used to prevent and treat infections in humans, animals and plants. Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as “superbugs”.

Dr. Getahun coordinates the global One Health multi-sectoral response to AMR across the human, animal, plant, food, feed and environment sectors; directs the Secretariat of the Global Leaders Group on AMR ( currently co-chaired by Their Excellencies Prime Minister of Barbados and Bangladesh; facilitates the research and development agenda through priority setting and gap analysis, and provides policy and programmatic guidance to nurture and scale up evidence-based interventions to enhance antimicrobial stewardship activities, awareness and behavioral change across all sectors.

Dr. Getahun was formerly the Director of the Secretariat of the United Nations Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (IACG) which was established by the UN Secretary General and released the 2019 ground-breaking report on how to respond to the global AMR crisis. Before that he worked in the Global TB Program of WHO leading its work on TB/HIV and community care.

Dr. Getahun has a medical degree from Addis Ababa University Medical Faculty, a Master of Public Health from the School of Public Health, Free University of Brussels (ULB), and a PhD, Public Health and Epidemiology, from the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp and Ghent University.

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