From: Bamidele Fashube, Abuja
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Health Organisation (WHO) is seeking collective mitigation measures and better strategic approaches to increase awareness on AMR and related threats.
The two global organisations including over five other West African countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone on Tuesday commenced deliberations on the action plans implementation process in Abuja.
They emphasised on the health and environmental impacts of abusive Antimicrobial usage (AMU) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
In his opening remark, Suffyan Koroma, the FAO Country Representative described AMR as global threat to human and animal health, capable of endangering modern human and veterinary medicines.
“The fact that human and veterinary health, food and feed production systems and agro-ecological environments all contribute to and are affected by AMR, is an indication that a crisis of this magnitude requires an effective one health approach involving coordination among national and international sectors and actors to curb its occurrence and impacts,” says Koroma.
However, in order to address the problem, the FAO stated that it already rolled out an action plan, titled “Supporting the food and agriculture sectors in implementing the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance to minimize the impact of antimicrobial resistance.”
It includes developing the capacity of AMR surveillance, monitoring and its use in food, agriculture, animal and human context; strengthen governance on antimicrobial use and promote good practices in food and agriculture, human and animal systems and prudent use of antimicrobials.
Koroma further advised participants from the West African countries to discourage their citizens from abusing antimicrobials including pest residues in agricultural products for human consumption.
Omotayo Hamzat, the WHO Focal Persons on AMR said addressing the menace would require concerted efforts of multiple stakeholders.
However, he applauded the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for linking all government institutions and development partners to develop a national action plan to mitigate the effects of AMR in the country.
The event had in attendance representatives from the World Organisation of Animal Health (OIE), West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), the European Union (EU) and others.
Other representatives were officials from the Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Environment, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Developments.