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Antimicrobial Resistance, Agriculture and Sustainable Development Goals

20/06/2019

An Information Session organized by FAO and the South Centre in collaboration with Permanent Missions of Ghana and Norway

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global public health problem and a hurdle for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The increasing resistance to existing antibiotics, antivirals and antifungals is rendering these crucial tools ineffective for treatment, including for a wide range of infections. In order to tackle AMR, it is necessary to improve access and the appropriate use of antimicrobials, taking a “One-Health” approach with integrated strategies across human and animal health sectors.

Participants learned of good policy practices to reduce and mitigate the impact of AMR on agricultural systems; identify the links and synergies in AMR work and the SDGs; identify potential models of governance for AMR by using a One-Health approach; and increase understanding of the impact of AMR and actions for prevention and mitigation.

The meeting was divided in two sessions: AMR Global Plans, with three speakers from International Organizations, namely: Ms Carolyn Rodrigues Birkett, Director FAO Geneva Office - Mr German Velasquez, Special Adviser, Policy and Health, South Centre - Dr. Yuki Minato from WHO - Dr. Julio Pinto from FAO – and Dr. Viviana Munoz from the South Centre. Session two focused on AMR programmes in countries, with  Dr. Martha Gyansa-Lutterodt, Chief Pharmacist of Ghana and Chair of Antimicrobial Resistance Working Group, Ghana and Dr. Solfrid Asmal, from the Food Safety Authority of Norway.

Summarizing the issue at hand, Ms Rodrigues-Birkett recalled that “AMR is a major part of the challenge for ending hunger and malnutrition (SDG2), as food is a potential source of antimicrobial resistant infections in people, whether from animal origin or non-animal origin… AMR being a global problem… it requires a global ‘One Health’ approach and solution, through integrated actions across human and animal health sectors. It requires, Governments, International Organizations, Private Sector, Farmers, citizens, everyone, working together.  This is why FAO, WHO and OIE are working on this issue under a tripartite umbrella, even as we intensify our efforts with Member States and other partners.”