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Group of participants to the workshop

IN ACTION

Working together to address AMR

FAO and Ministries of Health and Agriculture in Kenya hold a national Multi-stakeholder (One Health) Workshop on Antimicrobial Use and Resistance

The first national cross-sectoral consultative workshop on Antimicrobial Use (AMU) and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) related to agriculture, livestock production, fisheries and food for Kenya was convened in Nakuru on 15 and 16 March 2016.

 

The workshop was funded through FAO’s project supported by the Department of Health (DH) of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The primary objective of this project is to assist targeted countries (Cambodia, Kenya, Ghana and Zimbabwe) to develop national strategies to reduce the threat of AMR related to agriculture, livestock production, fisheries and food and to cooperate in a "One Health" perspective to insert these in their respective national action plans.

 

The overall objective of the consultative workshop was to:

  • to contribute to both the on-going situational analysis and development of a One Health National Action Plan (NAP) to address AMU and AMR in agriculture and public health
  • sensitize the participants on AMU and AMR
  • identify gaps to be addressed by the NAP

 

Fifty seven (57) participants attended the workshop. The participants were drawn from the line ministries (in charge of animal, fish, public health and plant health), Universities and government parastatals, development partners and private sector. Specific organizations represented included: Directorates of Veterinary Services and Fisheries, Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, FAO (HQ, ECTAD, Kenya); AU-IBAR, OIE, CDC, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS); Universities (Nairobi; Maseno); Hospitals (Kenyatta National Hospital, St Francis, MP Shah); Pest Control Products Board; Kenya Veterinary Association, Kenya Veterinary Board, Private clinicians (veterinary and public health); animal feed manufactures, pharmaceutical companies, County Governments, USAMRD-K (Walter Reed Project), Global Antimicrobial Resistance Partnership (GARP-K), Management Sciences of Health (MSH) Regional Society for Blood Transfusion (RSBTK) and the University of Maryland’s "Boresha Mahabala project" which funded participation of 13 people.

 

Antimicrobial resistance is a worldwide health threat at the human–animal-environment interface. To address the global AMR problem the World Health Organization of the United Nations (WHO) developed a Global Action Plan (GAP) on AMR and gave countries a deadline to develop National Action plan by 2017. On its part, the FAO has established an inter-departmental Working Group on AMR (AMR-WG). The AMR-WG developed an Action Plan on AMR to support the GAP.

 

Food and feed producing agriculture that use antimicrobials therapeutically and non-therapeutically include the following sub-sectors: livestock, aquatic animals and crops for food and feed production. This explains why FAO gathered the multiple sectors to discuss the issue. Overuse and misuse of antimicrobials in the different sectors can result in ineffectiveness of previously successful human and animal treatments of diseases.

 

KENYA EXPERIENCE

In Kenya, a situational analysis published in 2011, examined antimicrobial use and resistance in livestock and human medicine. Use of antimicrobials in plant health and fish sector was not considered then. The findings showed that prevalence of resistance among major pathogens of clinical importance had continued to rise, with 50-65% of some gram negative pathogens including E. coli and Salmonella spp. being resistant to three or more commonly available antimicrobials. Whereas it was observed that in some regions in the country there was overuse of antimicrobials that posed risk to enhancing resistance, there were areas where these life-saving medicines were inaccessible. In livestock, the major sectors where antimicrobials were used extensively without prescription and often in growth promotion were poultry and pig rearing. Though the level of multidrug resistance was lower in livestock associated pathogens compared to public health, the trend of increasing resistance was still worrisome. The updated situational analysis show similar worrying trends and misuse in other sectors- plant and fish.

 

Thanks to dedication and hard work of the participants, key recommendations on key aspects and the next steps for consideration in developing the AMR policy and NAP were made, this include development/implementation of:

  • A NAP with clear indicators by end of March 2016
  • An evidenced based AMR communication strategy to create awareness and educate stakeholders for behavior change
  • An integrated AMR Surveillance system
  • Detailed multisectoral baseline Gap analysis as a basis for monitoring NAP implementation progress
  • A Knowledge Attitudes and Practices study on AMU and AMR within the next 6 months
  • Strategies for Sustainable AMR control and Optimization of AMU
  • A policy brief and engaging of higher policy makers
  • A national AMR policy
  • Multisectoral platforms- extended to include plant health and fish sub-sectors

 

As he closed the meeting, the representative of the Director of Medical Services in Kenya expressed his gratitude to FAO and the donors and cited that this is the first meeting of its kind, that has taken One Health to a new level- beyond zoonosis collaborations.

 

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