Equity and gender orientation of antimicrobial resistance policy formulation in Australia and Germany
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School of Public Health, Bielefeld University, Germany
Torrens University, Australia
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A768
Background and Objective: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the biggest contemporary threats to population health, food security and sustainable development globally. Significant progress has been made to tackle AMR, especially through a One Health approach. In line with the World Health Organization call to consider how AMR affects “people in their daily lives at work, home and in their communities”, greater focus is needed on equity, social determinants of health (SDH) and gender dimensions of AMR. Methods: This study explored national AMR policy formulation in Australia and Germany with a focus on health equity, SDH and gender. We analysed national AMR policies in both countries and interviewed key stakeholders about the development and implementation of these policies, using a cross-disciplinary (public health and political science) approach. Results: We present cross country analysis of the two policies including conceptualisation of health and AMR, types of goals and strategies pursued, and the extent to which health equity, SDH and gender are recognised or targeted for action. We then present findings of semi-structured interviews that explore stakeholder perspectives about how health equity, SDH and gender are embedded into current policy and opportunities for expanding this focus in future AMR policies. Conclusions: While the emphasis and styles of the policies differ, in both policies equity, SDH and gender are only considered in a limited manner. The policies predominantly reflect a biomedical framing, with a narrow understanding of prevention and a focus on awareness raising and behavioural change. We discuss areas for expansion and provide insights on how the policy agenda in the future could reflect a stronger consideration of these dimensions of AMR. This cross-country study in Australia and Germany provides real-world insight into the state of the AMR policy environment and policy makers’ perspectives on formulating equity-oriented AMR policy in the future.