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A One Health Approach for Enhancing Capacity to Address Antimicrobial Resistance and Zoonotic Emerging Infectious Disease Threats in India

22/05/2016

A consultative workshop to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and emerging zoonotic infectious disease (EID) threats was organized by FAO in partnership with the Government of India.  The workshop took place in Kolkata from 20-22 May 2016.   This was a unique platform bringing together over 41 key decision makers from government and institutional stakeholders representing livestock, wildlife, and human health attended the workshop.

The main focus of the workshop was to develop a 3-year programme to mitigate the risk of emergence and spread of viral zoonotic EIDs and AMR.  The project is financially supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). 

Indiscriminate antibiotic use in both human and animal populations is driving AMR and threatening to propel the global community into a “post-antibiotic” era, in which common infections will become life-threatening.  In addition common surgical interventions, organ transplants and even childbirth will be high risk situations. By 2050, AMR-associated human mortality is expected to increase ten-fold and AMR-linked economic losses are anticipated to exceed USD 100 trillion annually.  In the livestock production industry, global antibiotic use is projected to increase 67% by 2030, and will nearly double in Brazil, China, Russia, India and South Africa. A growing demand for protein, fuelled by a rapidly expanding middle class, and concurrent increases in intensive animal production are driving this unprecedented growth in antibiotic use.  However, significant gaps remain in understanding antibiotic use practices in the livestock production industry, its contribution to resistance and transference from livestock of resistant bacteria that have an impact on human health.

India’s capabilities and depth of expertise lend themselves to developing an evidence base to better understand and target interventions to reduce the impact of AMR, as well as mitigate high priority diseases more effectively and the factors that drive their emergence. Challenges at the livestock, wildlife, and human health interface necessitate multi-sectoral approaches, presenting an opportunity to harness India’s experience and expertise across multiple disciplines at both national and sub-national levels to achieve measurable progress.

FAO has a unique role in supporting producers and other stakeholders in food systems to address AMR risks.