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ACT/ ToT workshop in Pakistan on Codex standards and foodborne antimicrobial resistance (AMR)


On 6 and 7 March, FAO in Pakistan, in collaboration with the Animal Husbandry Commissioner’s Office of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Livestock and Dairy Development Department of South Punjab and the Punjab Food Authority conducted a two-day Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop on Codex Standards and Foodborne Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in the city of Multan in South Punjab.

The workshop was part of a training programme taking place in the country under the FAO-implemented and Republic of Korea-funded Action to support implementation of Codex AMR Texts (ACT) project which is encouraging a One Health approach to collaboration among various stakeholders, to raise awareness about the need for responsible and prudent antimicrobial use based on Codex texts.

This event followed a similar ToT workshop that took place in Islamabad in October 2023. The ToT approach means “we are reaching the maximum number of people at the grass root level,” says Javaria Alam, ACT project coordinator in Pakistan. It was important to the organizers that the less developed South Punjab province should be targeted, where livestock carers – the majority of whom are women  - have scant awareness of issues around antimicrobial use. Two people were invited from each district of the province and in total, more than 30 participants attended the workshop from the provincial livestock departments and food authorities. For many, this was the first time they had received any training on AMR.

"After the success of last year's training in Islamabad, we chose to extend our reach by organizing this workshop for the staff of South Punjab,” Alam explains. “I believe this training has equipped participants with the knowledge needed to align our efforts effectively.”

Workshop attendees acknowledged the value of this training: “I left with a deeper understanding of the issues at hand,” said Dr Noman Farrukh, a veterinary officer at the Livestock and Dairy Development Department, South Punjab. “Overall, the workshop was a valuable experience, and I appreciate the efforts put forth by the FAO team in addressing such critical issues”.

Participants were trained on a range of relevant subjects, including the Codex AMR texts, the mechanism of how AMR develops, the intersection of AMR and the food chain, global trends in antimicrobial use in food-producing animals and the One Health aspect of AMR. In addition, the training touched on factors in AMR surveillance, disease management and progress on Pakistan’s National Action Plan on AMR. Highlighting the importance of a One Health approach to face these issues, Dr Muhammad Akram, Chief Veterinary Officer at the Ministry of National Food Security and Research Pakistan said: “Collaboration among governments, healthcare professionals, the food industry, and academia is essential to effectively combat this growing threat.”

Foodborne AMR is a food safety issue exacerbated in Pakistan by widespread misleading information, irrational prescribing of antimicrobials and availability of over-the-counter drugs without prescription[1], which all contribute to the overuse and misuse of antimicrobials that can lead to the emergence of resistant organisms in the food chain. These issues are most prevalent in rural and less developed areas.

Read more

The ACT project (
ACT in Pakistan (2-page leaflet)
Foodborne Antimicrobial Resistance - Compendium of Standards (Codex publication)