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ACT project / Pakistan brings together 50 experts to discuss progress on AMR


As part of the “Action to support implementation of Codex AMR Texts (ACT)” project, FAO Pakistan organized a national workshop on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on 24-26 October 2022 in Islamabad, Pakistan. More than 50 experts representing different sectors concerned with AMR human health, animal health, agriculture, poultry, dairy and pharmaceutical industry reviewed the key areas of the AMR National Action Plan (NAP). 

“We assessed the progress of the implementation, as well as engaged food and agriculture stakeholders, and identified gaps and actions to be taken to advance the AMR National Action Plan. The ACT project will provide support to overcome the identified gaps,” said Dr. Farooq Tahir, the National Project Coordinator in Pakistan.  

Using the FAO AMR Progressive Management Pathway (PMP) Tool, the participants discussed awareness, surveillance, governance and different practices for combating AMR. The results show that Pakistan has made significant progress on the awareness and evidence components of the NAP while there are gaps in the activities pertaining to governance and practices.  

Dr. Muhammad Farooq Tareen, Director of Planning, Livestock and Dairy Development Department in Balochistan, said the workshop helped to identify a way forward for potential AMR-related activities at the national and provincial levels.  

“Pakistan has already done a lot of work on AMR; however, there is a need to coordinate our efforts better. We have developed the AMR surveillance guidelines for clinically sick animals and the animal environment; and currently, we are focusing on the isolation, identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of foodborne pathogens. The ACT project is very timely, and we need to build on the already ongoing work and further strengthen the AMR surveillance in food, animals and food supply chain,” said Dr. Muhammad Akram, Animal Husbandry Commissioner and Chief Veterinary Officer, Ministry of National Food Security and Research. 

As a follow-up to the workshop, a roadmap will be developed in consultation with the national and provincial authorities to bridge these gaps in the country. Additionally, Pakistan’s National Action Plan on AMR was developed in 2017. One of the needs identified during the workshop was to revise it to include more specific plans for the animal, plant and environmental health sectors.  

The event was covered by some leading media in Pakistan, including “Technology Times” and “The Veterinary News and Views”. The event was also highlighted by different bloggers and shared by the National Academy of Young Scientists to their network of over 50 000 graduates across the country. 


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