Page tools
codexalimentarius > News and Events > News details
Awareness Walk.jpg

In ACTion during WAAW 2023/ Highlights from six countries


The "Action to support implementation of Codex AMR texts (ACT)" project leveraged World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) 2023 as an opportunity to highlight the key role of prevention in tackling the issue of drug-resistant infections transmitted through food. During WAAW 2023 the ACT project supported the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Cambodia, Colombia, Mongolia, Nepal, and Pakistan to raise awareness about antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and foster collaboration with stakeholders.

Bolivia and Colombia prioritized strengthening inter-institutional work

In coordination with the government agencies, FAO Bolivia organized three seminars, two of which were held in person, with the participation of national and international experts. The first seminar engaged with over 100 veterinary students and professors. The second seminar, organized by the State Agency of Medicines and Health Technologies, addressed the importance of AMR in the health field and the current situation in Bolivia. The third online seminar "Let's Prevent Antimicrobial Resistance Together" was led by the National Agricultural Health and Food Safety Service, engaging the stakeholders from the agriculture and food sectors.

Colombia celebrated WAAW 2023 with a scientific event that attracted 180 stakeholders in person and online. The participants discussed issues related to research, education and knowledge sharing in communities on the topic of foodborne AMR and the One Health approach to address this challenge.  Colombia also shared advancements in implementing its National Response Plan to Antimicrobial Resistance and the ACT project. Among achievements so far – assessment of the status of their AMR surveillance system, developing guidelines for an AMR epidemiological surveillance unit at the Colombian Agricultural Institute, and promoting responsible use of antimicrobials in the livestock sector.

A common theme of activities in both Bolivia and Colombia was cross-sectoral interaction and collaboration which is critical to ensuring a One Health approach.

Bringing youth onboard in Cambodia, and celebrating 100 years of the veterinary service in Mongolia

FAO Cambodia, in collaboration with partners, engaged with almost 400 students during the WAAW 2023. Future veterinarians from the Institute of Technology of Cambodia, the National University of Chea Sim Kamchaymear and the University of Kampong Cham learned about foodborne antimicrobial resistance and the need for collaborative action. Students learnt the importance of communicating about their works and related initiatives effectively also through social media, which raises awareness in the general public about daily practices supporting food safety. The events were organized together with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Health, the Institute of Technology of Cambodia, and One Health University Network and underline the importance of youth engagement is finding sustainable solutions to addressing foodborne AMR.

In Mongolia,the General Authority for Veterinary Services celebrated its 100th anniversary with a conference, which brought together over 120 representatives from various sectors, and provided an opportunity to present the ACT project. Mongolia also had a youth focus where an event was organized by 250 senior students in collaboration with the Mongolian University for Life Sciences’ School of Veterinary Medicine. The students conducted dynamic role plays to educate the public on AMR, and the ACT project National Coordinator in Mongolia, Enkhtur Byakharjav, together with veterinary school teachers, provided valuable insights, emphasizing the One Health approach.

The ACT project also organized a virtual meeting for 130 local veterinarians and specialists, focusing on the socio-economic significance of antimicrobial resistance, responsible antimicrobial use, and the implementation of Mongolia's National Action Plan on AMR for 2022-2025. In addition, together with the team of the Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) project and in collaboration with the World Bank-financed "Livestock commercialization project", an event for 120 secondary and high school students was organized to raise awareness about the responsible use of antimicrobials.

Awareness walks in Nepal and Pakistan

FAO Nepal, together with several national partners, organized a morning walkathon, which was attended by more than 250 participantsfrom the government, academic institutions, private sector, youth community, consumer forums, producers, and food sector entrepreneurs.

FAO Pakistan organized an AMR walk together with the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences which was attended by a diverse range of participants representing various health departments, veterinary professionals, officials from the environment sector, food authority and students. Also, a retreat session for women was held in Islamabad, with a high attendance for this unique experience — a combination of hiking and an awareness session. Experts from the FAO, the National Institute of Health, (NIH) the National University of Science and Technology, and the Fleming Fund talked about various aspects of AMR, its consequences and control.

Javaria Alam, National ACT Project Coordinator in Pakistan, spoke on national radio about the collective responsibility of every individual in preventing foodborne AMR.  She also presented the ACT project and highlighted the role of Codex texts in addressing foodborne AMR at various platforms, including the 2nd National Symposium on AMR in NIH, Islamabad, and the 14th International Biennial Conference of the Pakistan Society for Microbiology at Salim Habib University, Karachi. FAO Pakistan also showcased the ACT project efforts during the One Health and AMR Symposium at the National Agriculture Research Center, Islamabad, and during the AMR symposium at the Poultry Research Institute, Rawalpindi. To tackle AMR concerns in the food supply chain, an awareness-raising seminar for farmers was conducted in Karachi in collaboration with the Sindh Institute of Animal Health and Livestock and Dairy Development Department. The seminar aimed to educate farmers on responsible antimicrobial use in livestock for a healthier and sustainable food production system.

In addition, FAO Pakistan, under the ACT project, facilitated antimicrobial awareness walks across provinces and universities, to promote a shared commitment to address global health challenges related to foodborne AMR.

Learn more

Learn more about the ACT project here

Photo credit © FAO PAKISTAN – NIH / Muhammad Yasir Warsi