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FAO in Nepal

Coordinated Initiative to One Health Approach

Closing session of the Antimicrobial resistance awareness week. Photo: FAO/Field

Kathmandu-Today’s challenges are increasingly complex and multi-sectoral. Climate change, Antimicrobial resistance, avian influenza, fighting poverty and suitable development share common features. They do not fit into a single ministerial portfolio. These are global issues and spread across the boundaries and jurisdiction. Antimicrobial resistance is the threat to the global public health and challenges to national Antimicrobial resistance containment authority.

On 19, November 2017 the last day of the Antimicrobial resistance awareness week, a workshop on one Health and Antimicrobial Resistance: Challenges and Way Forward, organized jointly by the Ministry of Livestock Development (MOLD), Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Population and Environment, Ministry of Forestry and Soil conservation, Ministry of Agricultural Development, Academia, Researchers, FAO, WHO, The Fleming Fund Nepal, and Global Antibiotic Resistance Partnership (GARP).   The objective of the workshop was to foster collaboration of multiple disciplines, sectors and multiple groups working locally, nationally and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals, plants, and the environment through coordinated actions on One Health Movement, and Antimicrobial harmonized containment policy review.

A total 69 participants  including Secretaries of the ministries, Director Generals of the Departments, Section heads, professional councils (Medical, veterinary, Medical Research, pharmacy, Nursing) and professional association (Nepal medical, veterinary, and Para-veterinary professionals), representatives from poultry federation, feed industry, pharmaceutical companies, consumers forum, animal welfare  forum, media and other stakeholder participated in the workshop. Working Papers were presented from the MOLD, MOH, Department of Drug Administration, Department of Livestock Services and Fleming Fund country office, and GARP from their respective field of expertise. The discussion was supported by peer reviewers and national experts and facilitated by experts of multi-sectoral team. Discussion held on the country’s own perspective and reform plans.  Pertinent issues of OH including AMR, coordination, legislative measures, structural linking, antibiotics import and distribution, prescription practices and other relevant issues were discussed. Recommendation were prepared and submitted to the government based on the views and inputs of the discussion.

In the Workshop, the ministries have expressed their ownership and commitment to foster coordination and unanimity on the OH movement including AMR. Workshop recommended that “an effective One Health approach is a prerequisite for effective disease control policy making.  Roles of institutions are clearly established and coordination is ensured through explicit procedures. Processes and documents for policy planning are harmonized and efforts to link to financial planning is ongoing (to establish One Health Secretariat proposed in the Fleming Fund Project). The number of cross – departmental initiative that have led has growing significantly. Better information exchange to support shared agenda of action has developed.

Considering the workshop as the turning point, further joint work plan has developed and agreed between the inter-ministerial and inter – departmental level. Fleming Fund Grant proposal for the Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance was jointly (FAO, WHO, and the government) prepared and submitted to the donor. Joint Table Top exercise on Avian Influenza has been agreed and confirmed to be carried out on 29 and 30 April 2018, followed by Simulation exercise at the end of May 2018.   Curriculum review of FETVP is in progress to conduct the joint FETVP training by inter-departmental level. To conduct joint surveillance activities for the Antimicrobial resistant E.coli and joint mission for the surveillance and monitoring of avian influenza outbreak containment has been agreed.