Résistance aux antimicrobiens

WAAW 2021: The march continues, spread awareness, stop resistance!


This week is World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW). The theme for WAAW 2021 is “Spread awareness, stop resistance.” With this year’s theme, we want to encourage human, animal, and environmental health stakeholders to be AMR Awareness Champions in their families, communities and workplaces.

The damaging effects of AMR are manifesting themselves across the world. Antimicrobial treatments have become less effective or ineffective, and once treatable, diseases are now causing around 700,000 deaths each year due to AMR.

Global health pandemics are a stark reminder of the inextricable links between humans, animals and the environment. It’s not just the spread of the disease that should worry us, but the larger impact diseases have on people and their ability to farm, thrive and live.

A considerable fraction of the antimicrobials administered to animals are excreted in an active form in the faeces. They can end up in and spread rapidly through our rivers, lakes, reservoirs, streams and streams. 

Due to AMR, drug-resistant infections are placing an ever-increasing burden on human, animal, plant and environmental health. AMR could cause catastrophic damage to the global economy and force up to 24 million people into extreme poverty by 2030.  Livestock production in low-income countries could decline the most, with a possible 11 percent loss by 2050Additional health expenditure of USD 1.2 trillion per year is expected by 2050 due to the rise of antimicrobial resistance.

From farmers to chefs, veterinarians to consumers, politicians to students and policymakers to food packagers, we each have a role to play to slow the spread of AMR. Here are four ways you can slow down AMR:

1.  Think twice and seek advice before buying and using antimicrobials

Prudent use of antimicrobials will reduce the emergence and spread of superbugs. For farmers, always keep animals healthy through regular vaccination, good nutrition and a clean environment. When animals get sick, get a correct diagnosis and follow instructions to administer antimicrobials properly. By employing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices, you can keep plants healthy and reduce pesticides and antimicrobials.

2. Follow the Four Cs of Food Safety to help reduce the spread of superbugs and microorganisms 

  • Cleaning - Wash your hands thoroughly before and after contact with people and animals on the farm, supermarket or restaurant.  Clean all surfaces and equipment that will be used while cooking your meal, including countertops, cutting boards, knives and water.
  • Cross-contamination - Keep food preparation and storage areas clean and separate to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Cooking - Food can carry superbugs and AMR microorganisms. Cook all meat, poultry and seafood properly and d do not heat food multiple times
  • Chilling - Keep food chilled at the right temperature in the refrigerator when being transported.

3. A coordinated One Health approach

Because drivers of AMR are trans-national and multi-sectoral, a sustained One Health approach is essential. This approach enables multiple sectors and stakeholders to design and implement programmes, policies, legislation and work together to achieve better public health outcomes.

4. Strengthening surveillance and Research

Surveillance provides data on AMR that is crucial for treating drug-resistant infections, guiding policy and developing strategies to reduce AMR. AMR surveillance and monitoring is essential for slowing the emergence and spread of drug-resistant microorganisms in humans, animals, plants, and the environment.

Many countries - especially low- and middle-income countries- need support to improve their capacity and capability for AMR surveillance and monitoring. This will help countries generate, collect, analyze and interpret national data on AMR, antimicrobial usage, levels of antimicrobial residues along the food chain and AMR in the environment..

Therefore, we must join hands to better protect agri-food systems, livelihoods and economies from the destabilizing forces of untreatable microorganisms and superbugs. Let us confront the silent global crisis of AMR together, today.

 The march continues, spread awareness, stop resistance!

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