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Cambodia is first to organize a national High Level Tripartite Meeting on Multi-Sectoral Action Plan to combat Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

22/12/2017

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA – The three leading ministries on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the Ministry of Health (MoH), Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), and the Ministry of Environment (MoE) came together in Phnom Penh for a high level meeting. The meeting, co-organized by the tripartite collaboration on AMR between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) was the first national meeting to be supported by the tripartite collaboration on AMR, and involved experts from regional and national institutions. The main goal of this high level meeting was to outline the process for developing a Multi-Sectoral Action Plan to Combat AMR in Cambodia.

In Cambodia, AMR was gaining global attention when resistance was reported to the anti-malarial drug Artemisinin on the Cambodia-Thailand border in 2009. Consequently, a National Policy (2014) and Strategy (2015-2017) was developed and endorsed by the MoH, followed by the drafting of a national action plan on AMR for food and agriculture by the MAFF.

Under support from the Fleming Fund of the UK’s Health Department, a number of Multi-Sectoral AMR workshops have been conducted, including this two-day workshop in Phnom Penh on 29-30 November to support a One Health approach to combat AMR, by drafting a Multi-Sectoral National Action Plan including human health, agriculture, and the environment. 

The high level meeting produced fruitful results, such as an agreement on the outline and process for the multi-sectoral action plan development, and was a remarkable milestone of cooperation and collaboration with joint efforts to combat AMR in Cambodia. Many government stakeholders including the ministries for education, environment, and rural development also acknowledged links between their work and AMR, and showed great interest to be involved in the technical working groups on AMR.

H.E Sen Sovann, the OIE delegate in Cambodia and the Director General of the General Directorate of Animal Health and Production (GDAHP), was impressed by a great interest shown by other stakeholders. “It is a good sign that so many stakeholders show an interest in AMR and realize the severity and the requirement for high commitment and collaboration across different sectors,” he said and adding that “I also wish to thank the FAO-OIE-WHO Tripartite collaboration on AMR for helping Cambodia to establish the multi-sectoral action plan on AMR and mobilize key people to this meeting, with a high commitment to combat AMR.” 

The inter-ministerial statement initiated by Country Representatives of the FAO-OIE-WHO Tripartite, implying a commitment of all key stakeholders to reduce the spread of AMR in Cambodia was presented to the participants. It will be further reviewed by the assigned three ministries, MoH, MAFF and MoE.

Dr. Ly Sovann, chairman of the Technical Working Group for AMR and spokesman of the MoH considered this high level tripartite meeting a great opportunity for all relevant stakeholders to be updated on the AMR situation and allow for suggestions, to form a viable action plan that is relevant to the Cambodian context. He also added that “the plan must be simple and applicable, covering priority actions with allocated funding and commitment of key stakeholders at all levels. Those are vital factors to effectively tackle the growing problem of AMR.”

The final draft of the national multi-sectoral action plan to combat AMR is expected to be established in early 2018, and to be endorsed by the joint ministries by the mid of 2018. 

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Note to Editor:

* FAO, WHO, OIE have jointly called for concrete actions of all countries to work together to combat ARM by forming the FAO/WHO/OIE Tripartite Collaboration on AMR. The Tripartite has supported the development of a global action plan to tackle the growing problem of AMR. The Global Action Plan on ARM was endorsed at the Sixty-eighth World Health Assembly in May 2015.

* Similar to other countries in the world, AMR is a huge challenge for Cambodia. AMR hinders the efforts to improve quality of, for example, healthcare services, management of waste and wastewater and safe food production. Several good initiatives can be mentioned in Cambodia, such as the establishment of AMR technical working groups, Antimicrobial use (AMU) and AMR awareness raising, review of the legal framework from an AMU/AMR perspective, scaled up AMR surveillance and strengthening of the laboratory capacity to detect AMR. However, more efforts are required and The Royal Government of Cambodia recognizes AMR as one of the top priorities that urge for immediate action.

* The FAO/OIE/WHO Tripartite Collaboration on AMR is supporting the Royal Government of Cambodia to address issues around AMR. We have supported the National AMR Technical Working Group that meets regularly.  “We jointly organize this High Level Tripartite meeting to support the commitment of Cambodia to combat AMR applying a multi-sectoral approach. In this meeting, we will review the AMR situation in Cambodia to guide the development of a multi-sectoral national action plan to combat AMR.”

Focal points names and contacts for FAO and WHO:

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Ms Chann Tet, Chann.Tet@fao.org, 011 276 775

World Health Organization (WHO), Ms Vicky Houssiere, houssierev@who.int, 092 554 100