LONDON, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Britain's Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced on Thursday that the country has launched a 20-year vision and a 5-year national action plan for how it will contribute to containing and controlling antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
The government plans to make sure that current antibiotics stay effective by reducing the number of resistant infections and helping clinicians prescribe appropriately, according to the DHSC.
It aims to cut the number of drug-resistant infections by 10 percent by 2025; reduce the use of antibiotics in humans by 15 percent; and prevent at least 15,000 patients from contracting infections as a result of their healthcare each year by 2024.
The plan covers animals and the environment as well as human health. The government has committed to working with veterinarians and farmers to reduce the use of antibiotics in animals by 25 percent between 2016 and 2020, with objectives to be refreshed by 2021.
The pharmaceutical industry will also be expected to take more responsibility for antibiotic resistance.
"It is vital that we tackle the spread of drug-resistant infections before routine operations and minor illnesses become life-threatening," said British Prime Minister Theresa May in a statement.
Since 2014, Britain has cut the amount of antibiotics it uses by more than 7 percent, and sales of antibiotics for use in food-producing animals have dropped by 40 percent. However, the occurrence of drug-resistant bloodstream infections increased by 35 percent between 2013 and 2017, government figures showed.