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Antimicrobial Resistance

FAO and partners discuss ways to address antimicrobial resistance

30/01/2017

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in cooperation with other partners discussed major challenges and untapped opportunities in addressing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) today. The stakeholders’ meeting, which focused on AMR in Asia’s animal production industry, was one of the Side Meetings held during the Prince Mahidol Award Conference (PMAC). The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) primarily funded and organized the meeting with technical assistance from FAO, World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), World Health Organization (WHO) and some private sector stakeholders.

More than 90 international experts on AMR attended the meeting including key stakeholders from Asian countries such as Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and the Philippines; and private companies.

Resource speakers from international organizations, industry and the academe presented examples of mechanisms and cases to establish baseline antimicrobial usage (AMU) assessments and usage monitoring frameworks. The economic impacts of unabated antibiotic use in Asia’s animal production were discussed including possible solutions. It was revealed that various sectors have been working for more evidence-based policy/legislative/regulatory guidance and enforcement. The applicability of compliance systems is being studied to fit the Asian context as well. Industry representatives reported that several drivers affect the use of antimicrobials in animal production.

However, they pointed out that there are also market drivers that are promising to ensure that Asian livestock production depart from practices that include antimicrobial use. Awareness and education remain key issues as old and new challenges continue to hound communications specialists. Participants agreed that mechanism for a multi-sectoral cooperation should be refined and strengthened in the coming months to demonstrate action on gaps identified. Participants discussed the economic considerations to shifting AMU practices from multiple stakeholders’ viewpoints and within the context of risk assessments and risk management. Specifically, participants would work to demonstrate multi-sectoral cooperation and evidence-based trainings are implemented in Asian countries as part of their National Action Plan using a One Health Approach.

Antimicrobial resistance will be one of the main themes of next year’s PMAC where various topics would be highlighted. Among the possible topics to be discussed are practices of judicious use, principles and measurement; promotion of evidence-based policy, legal and regulatory standards; and, AMR stewardship through an economic lens. FAO’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Juan Lubroth, thanked the USAID for their generosity and strong support to FAO’s effort to address AMR in agriculture. He emphasized a collective effort to address AMR in the Region.

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