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Indonesia Raising Awareness on Antimicrobial Resistance

The peak of WAAW this year was held in Solo, Central Java and Yogyakarta during Car-Free Day (CFD). The participants from Pinsar Petelur Nasional (layer farming organization / PPN) Solo area, FAO ECTAD, MoA, PPN Solo area, YOP and CIVAS

This year’s World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) just ended on 19 November 2017. FAO ECTAD Indonesia, together with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) of the Republic Indonesia and other related stakeholders successfully held several events which aimed to raise people’s awareness of the danger of misusing antimicrobial agents such as antibiotics.

The series of events started with a Media Visit on 6-7 November 2017, where several journalists visited poultry farmers who, through mentoring by FAO, had implemented 3-zone biosecurity and good poultry farming practices in Semarang and Karanganyar, Central Java. On both farms, the journalists were shown how the application of 3-zone biosecurity can reduce antibiotic and disinfectant usage by up to 40%.

Following the Media Visit, on 8 November 2017, at the Ministry of Agriculture, Jakarta, an Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Media Briefing was hosted to which 70 journalists were invited. The briefing was held to enlighten the media on the subject of antimicrobial resistance and the use of antibiotics in Indonesia. It was opened by the Director General of Livestock and Animal Health Services, MoA, Dr I Ketut Diarmita, followed by a presentation by Dr Samsul Ma’arif, Director of Veterinary Public Health, on Strategies and Policies on Antimicrobial Resistance Control in the Animal Health Sector.

Dr Luuk Schoonman, FAO ECTAD Indonesia Chief Technical Advisor, highlighted the worldwide dimensions of AMR with a presentation entitled AMR: A Global Problem. This was followed by a presentation by Dr Sujith Chandy (ReAct - Action on Antibiotic Resistance), which addressed the issue of AMR control in Asia and the Pacific, presenting case studies on AMR control in agriculture / livestock. The final presentation, which focused on antibiotics use in human health was presented by Dr Purnawati Sujud from Yayasan Orangtua Peduli (Foundation of Caring Parents / YOP).

In his opening speech, Dr Diarmita said that antimicrobials (antibiotics) were a very important invention, considering their benefits for the protection of human and animal health. However, antimicrobials are like a double-edged sword because if they are used without prudent and rational cosideration, their inappropriate use can trigger the emergence of antimicrobial resistance.

“Antimicrobal resistance has become a serious threat to food sustainibility, especially for the animal husbandry and animal health sector. Based on reports from various countries, there has been an increase of resitance rates in the last few decades. On the other hand, research and development of new antibiotics is not keeping up with it,” he stated.

Ketut added that the danger of antimicrobial resistance is closely related to disease prevention behaviour and disease treatment, antibiotic use in food production and environment protection systems. Therefore, an approach which involves the health, agriculture, and environment sectors is needed. “For the animal husbandry sector, the government will issue a ban on the use of antibiotics as growth promotors, effective on 1 January 2018,” Ketut explained.

World Antibiotic Awareness Week activities continued with a Studium Generale Seminar on AMR at the University of Gadjah Mada (UGM) on November 18, 2017. This public lecture, had been previously conducted in three other universities with faculties of Veterinary Medicine, namely Bogor Agriculture Institute (IPB), Airlangga University in Surabaya and Hasanuddin University in Makassar. The final public lecture in this series is scheduled to be held at Udayana University, Denpasar in December 2017.

Following the UGM public seminar, activities continued with an AMR Farmers’ Gathering with poultry farmers in Solo, the purpose of which was to educate farmers on the importance of good livestock management practices (including vaccination) to prevent diseases, as well as to socialize the ban on the use of antibiotic growth promotors.

Dr. James McGrane, FAO ECTAD Indonesia team leader flagged the global dangers of antimicrobial resistance, which is related to the use of antibiotics for disease prevention and non-therapeutic antibiotic use in food production systems. The problem of AMR cannot be solved by one sector alone. The "One Health" approach is needed to overcome the complexity of controlling antimicrobial resistance. “In today's world and healthcare systems, AMR is no longer only seen as a stand-alone issue but also inter-twined with various sectors: public health,animal health (including fisheries and aquaculture), the food chain and the environment sector,” said McGrane.

One day earlier, on 17 November, Pinsar Petelur Nasional (layer farming organization / PPN) for Kendal, Central Java area organized a farmers meeting on AMR with ancillary activities including egg/chicken cooking competitions, a bazaar and a traditional Wayang puppet show featuring AMR in the storyline. FAO ECTAD was invited to participate and support farmers to apply good biosecurity practices which assist in reducing antibiotic usage on farms. Messages were focused on good farming practices to reduce antibiotics use and contribute to AMR reduction while also raising public awareness on the prudent and responsible use of antibiotics.

In addition to these activities, WAAW this year was also enlivened with public Storytelling or Photo Essay Contests on the theme “good farming practices to promote infection prevention and control”. Other events included Oral Presentations and an AMR Essay Competition for veterinary and other undergraduate students.
The climax of WAAW 2017 was the AMR street campaign carried out in Solo and Yogyakarta on Sunday during the car-free day (CFD). Street carnival activities included walking together, gymnastics, flashmobs, and the distribution of 2000 eggs as well as rice and fried chicken to the communities participating in CFD. This event was organized by FAO ECTAD, the Ministry of Agriculture, PPN Solo area, YOP and the Center for Indonesian Veterinary Analytical Studies (CIVAS).