FAO promotes prudent use of antimicrobials

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2020 across Europe and Central Asia.

©FAO/Vasily Maximov


For World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2020 (WAAW), FAO is organizing a series of activities to call attention to this important topic to different audiences of Europe and Central Asia. 

At the regional level, FAO will organize on 23 November a high-level webinar jointly with FAO’s tripartite partners, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). High-level participants from the Tripartite, as well as the European Commission and the Eurasian Economic Commission, will elaborate on the importance of establishing a Regional Tripartite One Health Secretariat to mobilize partners.

The Tripartite organizations encourage countries to strengthen measures to combat antimicrobial resistance and enhance public advocacy for the prudent use of antibiotics in humans and animals and to address the additional challenges posed by the current COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, they offer support to countries in implementing national action plans and advocate for including all relevant partners, initiatives, and foundations across the region to ensure an optimal use of available resources and foster synergies, while avoiding duplication of efforts.

The joint statement of the three partners, ”United in the One Health approach to protect antimicrobials,” can be accessed here.

For World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, FAO will launch an informative leaflet translated into 16 major languages of Europe and Central Asia helping the livestock sector, such as farmers, veterinarians, and veterinary pharmacists understand antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial residues, as well as providing guidance on how to use less antibiotics and do it more wisely.

©FAO/Maxim Zmeyev; ©FAO/Karen Minasyan

FAO has several initiatives at country level, too, on top of the wide distribution of the above leaflet:

In Belarus, FAO will visit agricultural colleges not covered in the awareness campaign from last year. An article on antimicrobial resistance will be published in a veterinary newspaper (delivered to all 118 districts), as well as on the website of the State Veterinary Service and veterinary facilities.

In Kazakhstan, FAO will deliver a lecture on antimicrobial resistance at the Kazakh State Agrotechnical University and, together with WHO and OIE, hold a joint virtual meeting with farmers.

FAO and WHO and national partners will organize a press conference in Kyrgyzstan on antimicrobial resistance and other livestock issues, complemented by a press release and further materials distributed through the United Nations social media channels. Students of the National Agrarian University and field veterinarians will benefit from FAO lectures.  

In the Russian Federation, FAO plans to organize a virtual round table on 24 November jointly with WHO and OIE. The participants will review activities carried out by key Russian partners over the past 12 months, discuss the progress in implementing the Russian Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy and Action Plan, as well as exchange views on the problems and prospects of intersectoral cooperation in combatting antimicrobial resistance.

©FAO/Nozim Kalandarov

A series of FAO presentations delivered at training sessions to veterinary students of the Tajik Agrarian University and at the Annual Convention of the Association of Veterinarians are planned in Tajikistan. In addition, FAO will publish articles in local newspapers and radio programmes on antimicrobial resistance and the National Action Plan. Jointly with WHO, a meeting with the National Antimicrobial Resistance Multisectoral Coordination Group members will be held in Dushanbe.

In Turkey, a virtual symposium by the Tripartite Working Group, in collaboration with line ministries, will be held on 18 November with English-Turkish-Arabic interpretation. The event will bring together government officials, health care professionals, environment and food engineers, the pharmaceutical industry, and academia.

In Ukraine, FAO will organize an online press briefing with the participation of specialists from WHO, the Ministry of Health, the State Service on Food Security and Consumer Protection, and the private sector. Also, an FAO article, published in local agrarian and national media outlets, will focus on antimicrobial resistance. Finally, FAO will organize a seven-day social media campaign on the topic through various channels, including FAO Ukraine Twitter, UN Ukraine social media pages, and WHO social media pages.

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