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ACT in Pakistan / Training of trainers on Codex standards and foodborne antimicrobial resistance


FAO Pakistanin collaboration with the Animal Husbandry Commissioner Office of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, conducted a three-day workshop on Codex standards and foodborne antimicrobial resistance (AMR). More than 40 participants from federal and provincial livestock departments, food authorities and other relevant departmentsattended thistraining of trainerson 23-25 October 2023 in Islamabad. This was the first-ever workshop to raise awareness among field veterinarians and food authorities on Codex and AMR.   

“Understanding Codex standardsis criticalfor well-being and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Responsible use of antimicrobials in food production is crucial to prevent the spread of AMR, and every stakeholder has a role to playsaid Dr. Aamer Irshad, Assistant FAO Representative in Pakistan.  

The training was held under the “Action to support implementation of Codex AMR texts (ACT)” project. The participants learned about Codex AMR texts, how AMR can develop, its transmission via the foodchain, the use of antimicrobials as growth promoters, and its implications. They also discussed the role of food authorities, whatlaboratories can do to address AMR surveillance, food safety policies, disease management, vaccination, biosecurity, guidelines on how to use antimicrobials, the national action plan on AMR and the legal framework on animal health 

This workshop helped me to understand the basic concepts of Codex and AMR. The lectures were comprehensive and detailed, and it was useful to listen to professionals working on this important topic from the ministry, academia and laboratories. This knowledge will help me to raise awareness about AMR among farmers in the field, said Dr. Shazia Nazeer, in charge of the bacteriology laboratory at the Poultry Research Institute 

The participants also visited the National Reference Laboratory for Poultry Diseases and the National Veterinary Laboratory to learn more about AMR surveillance.  

The role of laboratories is crucial early detectpathogens responsible for resistance at all levels. This information is essential for relevant stakeholders. Laboratory specialists, veterinarians, policymakers, farmers can arrange appropriate treatments, thereby enhancing food safety and security in the countrysaid Dr. Zahida Fatima, Program Leader at the National Reference Laboratory for Poultry Diseases. 

Javaria Alam, ACT Project Coordinator in Pakistan, noted that this training has equipped the participants with the knowledge necessary to address foodborne AMR. “We received positive responses and will continue our efforts to spread the important messages related to AMR, Alam said 

Foodborne AMR is a food safety issue. The implementation of Codex AMR standards reduces the emergence and transmission of AMR in food systems, thereby protecting consumer health and ensuring fair trade practices. The ACT project is supporting the implementation of Codex standards not only in Pakistanbut also in the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Cambodia, Colombia, Nepal and Mongolia. 


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Action to support implementation of Codex AMR Texts (ACT)


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