Producer
Director
Michael Wech
Producer
Michael Scheffold
Genre
Documentary
Broadcaster
ZDF / ARTE
Length
1 x 90'
Editor
Year
2022
SILENT PANDEMIC
The global fight against Antimicrobial Resistance

The world is on the cusp of an ominous development: bacteria are building resistance to existing antibiotics faster than new antibiotics are entering the market. An ever-widening cavity is opening up. This "antibiotic gap," as experts call this development, marks the beginning of a new era in medicine. For the first time in recent history, we have to come to terms with the fact that not all bacterial infections are treatable anymore - with implications for all areas of medicine, from surgery to oncology. The WHO has been using the term "silent pandemic" since the fall of 2021 because, unlike Corona, antibiotic resistance is creeping into our society unnoticed - but it is shaking up our healthcare system just as overarchingly. The issue is currently so serious that it is being treated with the same degree of urgency on the international policy stage as climate change or migration.

In the acclaimed documentary “Resistance Fighters - The Global Antibiotics Crisis” (2019), Michael Wech and the team around producer Leopold Hoesch tackled the causes of antibiotic resistance and the far-reaching significance of the problem in the style of a scientific thriller. With SILENT PANDEMIC, they now continue the story and once again name the problem, but this time they mainly take a look at the search for solutions. They show how countries, scientists and private initiatives around the world are networking and forming alliances, and what strategies and measures they are using to counter the advance of antibiotic resistance. Much has happened since the UN resolution in 2016: Almost all countries have activated national action plans to combat resistance since then, foundations and NGOs have launched projects and measures in poorly developed countries and achieved initial, promising successes. And even on the most controversial issue, the use of antibiotics in animal farming, there are initial successes, as poultry producers in the USA have found ways to continue their production on a large scale without antibiotics.

SILENT PANDEMIC - The global fight against Antimicrobial Resistance

The world is on the cusp of an ominous development: bacteria are building resistance to existing antibiotics faster than new antibiotics are entering the market. An ever-widening cavity is opening up. This "antibiotic gap," as experts call this development, marks the beginning of a new era in medicine. For the first time in recent history, we have to come to terms with the fact that not all bacterial infections are treatable anymore - with implications for all areas of medicine, from surgery to oncology. The WHO has been using the term "silent pandemic" since the fall of 2021 because, unlike Corona, antibiotic resistance is creeping into our society unnoticed - but it is shaking up our healthcare system just as overarchingly. The issue is currently so serious that it is being treated with the same degree of urgency on the international policy stage as climate change or migration.

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