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FAO strengthens efforts of One- Health-Driven AMR Control

By JT - Nov 25,2021 - Last updated at Nov 25,2021

Participants pose for a group photo during an awareness-raising day to address global health concerns on the spread of antimicrobial resistance on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of FAO)

AMMAN — The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Jordan on Wednesday organised an awareness-raising day in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture-Veterinary Directorate to address global health concerns on the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The event took place during World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW), which is held from November 18-24 annually. A number of veterinarians and relevant stakeholders in the animal production sector were in attendance, said a FAO statement.

The FAO, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organisation have announced that this year’s theme for the WAAW is: Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance.

AMR is the ability of micro-organisms to survive from antimicrobials. AMR naturally occurs in bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites; however, misuse of antimicrobials in humans, animals and plants has hastened its emergence and spread. Around 700,000 human deaths each year are related to AMR and the number may soar to 10 million by 2050 without action to mitigate the risks, according to the statement.

The FAO Representative in Jordan Nabil Assaf said: “AMR is a risk for agriculture and livestock in particular because misuse or overuse generates resistance that decimates animals and the livelihoods dependent on them. Antimicrobials are also used on crops and in aquaculture to prevent output losses.” 

 “FAO is working with its partners to establish an AMR Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Platform with the help of hundreds of inputs from around the world. This platform would be operational in 2022 and it would assure that all aspects and all levels of the AMR threat spectrum are addressed,” he added.

Jamela Al Raiby, the representative of the World Health Organisation in Jordan warns to "only use antimicrobials and antibiotics when they are prescribed by a doctor, do not share or use leftover antimicrobials, and follow infection prevention measures”.

On behalf of Agriculture Minister Khalid Hneifat, the Assistant Secretary-General for Livestock, Ali Abu Nukta said: “Our goal is to protect and provide comprehensive services by applying effective prevention and treatment methods of optimal use of antibiotics through a multi-sectoral approach between health care providers and policy makers in the health and veterinary sectors. This will allow us to achieve the concept of One Health that links different efforts to limit the spread of infectious diseases in all sectors,” he said.

Furthermore, a new FAO Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2021-2025 was published on Friday, which will be a guide for FAO’s support to its members. 

It notes that because resistant microbes cross borders, a global effort is the only way to assure everyone is protected. Among its key principles are the need for science-based evidence to identify and manage AMR risks before they become large-scale emergencies, the utility of surveillance and training around the world and the importance of incentivizing stakeholders to take action.

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