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FAO in Laos

Experts review efforts to tackle antimicrobial resistance, animal diseases


Vientiane (Vientiane Times) - Agriculture and health officials and experts from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and United Kingdom Embassy to Laos met in Vientiane on Tuesday to review the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and animal diseases in Laos.

The project inception workshop aimed to engage the food and agriculture sector in the global effort to combat AMR using a 'one health' approach.

Director General of the Department of Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr Sithong Phiphakhavong, co-chaired the one health system mapping and analysis resource toolkit workshop.

FAO Representative to Laos Dr Stephen Rudgard said that for several years the Lao government had been collaborating with FAO, the UK and other development partners to fight against transboundary animal diseases and zoonoses (diseases that can be transmitted to humans from animals) such as a vian influenza, foot and mouth disease, and rabies through the one health platform.

"The fact that human and veterinary health, food and feed production systems and agro-ecological environments all contribute to, and are affected by AMR, indicates the need for a multi-sectoral and multidimensional 'one health' approach to curb its occurrence," Dr Rudgard said.

Antimicrobial resistance was a multi-sectoral problem encompassing the interface between humans, animals and the environment, he explained.

He said FAO had collaborated with other development partners including the World Health Organisation (WHO) to share responsibilities for addressing global activities regarding antimicrobial resistance at the animal-human-ecosystems interfaces.

The project, when successfully implemented with financial support from the Fleming Fund through the UK Government, would enable Laos to have a national action plan with global standards, strengthened and assessed regulatory frameworks, strengthened laboratory capacities and good practices in the agriculture and food sectors, he said.

UK Ambassador to Laos Mr Hugh Evans said "all were aware that AMR is a gl obal and multi-sectoral issue and threat. In recognition of the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance, the WHO presented to its Health Assembly a draft global action plan on AMR which was adopted by the 68th World Health Assembly as a resolution in May 2015."

By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth

(Latest UpdateSeptember 28, 2017)