FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

FAO renews calls for strengthened antimicrobial resistance surveillance as key project closes in Lao PDR

07/10/2019 Vientiane, Lao PDR

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) renewed its calls for strengthened capacities in antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance as the second phase of a Fleming Fund (FF) project on AMR in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic came to a close recently.

The FAO-implemented and United Kingdom-funded project on engaging the food and agriculture sectors in sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia to combat AMR using a One Health approach in Lao PDR officially closed today with a number of outputs contributing to the country’s overall AMR action plan. The Lao PDR government, international non-government organizations, donors and university partners acknowledged the success of FAO-FF AMR Project implementation.

FAO Regional Office for Asia Pacific (RAP) Katinka de Balogh emphasized that the FAO-FF AMR Project has laid the groundwork for the country to move forward in strengthening its AMR campaign. “Over the course of the FAO-FF AMR Project in Lao PDR, the animal health sector has made significant progress in assessing and addressing AMR and antimicrobial use (AMU) in animal production,” De Balogh explained.

Identification of gaps and solutions

UK Deputy Ambassador to Lao PDR Neil Beauchamp thanked FAO and the Lao PDR government in the implementation of the FAO-FF AMR Project. The outputs from the project has contributed to the country’s sustainable goals especially in strengthening resilience among smallholder farmers.

The project was implemented following FAO’s AMR Action Plan. While the participants of the FAO-FF AMR Project closing workshop identified a number of gaps, they were optimistic that there were enough to build on to improving awareness, surveillance, governance and good practices on AMR.

Department of Livestock and Fisheries Deputy Director General Syseng Khounsy said that he is looking forward to the next phase of the AMR in the campaign. He explained that awareness activities will focus more on training animal/human health professionals and the government is working on strengthening the country’s veterinary medicinal products regulation.

Mission accomplished but there is more to be done

FAO will be collaborating with the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in Lao PDR to implement a new AMR project through a UK FF country grant to the Lao PDR government. Activities for the new project will build on the various activities initiated through the concluded FAO-FF AMR Project with the aim to generate AMR data relevant for decision-makers. “This grant is expected to further enhance capacity in Lao PDR to generate data on AMR and inform policy on how to best mitigate the threat of AMR,” De Balogh explained.

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