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https://aphascience.blog.gov.uk/2022/11/24/world-antimicrobial-awareness-week-2022/

Working internationally to support local action

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Antimicrobial Resistance
Image of a group of males engaged in a task around a board. The text: "Antimicrobial Awareness Week 18-24 November" is written over the top. The image also includes a logo which says, "Handle antimicrobials with care"
World Antimicrobial Week runs from 18-24 November

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when microorganisms no longer respond to medicines used to treat infection, such as bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics. It has been estimated that 4·95 million deaths in 2019 were associated with bacterial AMR.

AMR continues to be a global challenge requiring action in all countries and across all sectors, including public and veterinary health. Indeed, the importance of this One Health approach in tackling AMR is emphasised in the One Health Joint Action Plan (2022-2026) recently published by the Quadripartite (World Health Organisation (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)). This plan highlights the need to work together for the health of humans, animals, plants, and the environment.

It is in this spirit of working together that the UK’s FAO Reference Centre for AMR has contributed to efforts to tackle the threat of AMR in Qatar and Bangladesh.

Workshop in Qatar

A One Health workshop was held in Qatar in March 2022 and focused on the environmental and animal health aspects of AMR. The workshop was hosted by the Ministry of Municipality in collaboration with the AMR Reference Centre and joined by experts from Qatar’s National Antibiotic Committee including representatives from the Ministry of Public Health Strategic Planning & Performance Department and Central Food Laboratories, Hamad Medical Corporation, Ministry of Municipality Animal Resource Department and Agriculture Research Department, Qatar University, and the UK Science & Innovation Network.

Group of four males and three females wearing facemasks, standing in front of a whiteboard
Group work for landscape mapping of AMR research and surveillance

In the workshop delegates identified approaches and systems to further strengthen Qatar’s One Health approach to tacking AMR through assessment of needs in human, environmental, and animal health. Outputs from the workshop have helped to inform discussions as Qatar prepares its next National Action Plan for AMR.

“Antimicrobial resistance is an important and growing global challenge. It also represents one of the biggest threats to continued progress in global health. I therefore welcome UK/Qatar expert discussions on ways we can cooperate to meet this challenge and protect our peoples’ health.”

Nick Boucher, Head of the UK Science and Innovation Network (Gulf)

“It was a valuable workshop and has had an opportunity to communicate with scientists from the UK in Qatar in different disciplines. It also gave us a chance to exchange knowledge with them. Furthermore, it clarifies for us the areas for research collaboration between the state of Qatar and the UK in the Agricultural sector.”

Dr. Mona Albloushi, Biotechnology Consultant, Agricultural Research Department, Ministry of Municipality, Qatar

Image of a group of people listening to a lady talking at a flip chart
Insights and recommendations were shared for discussion in feedback sessions during the AMR Workshop in Qatar

Bangladesh AMR workshop

A team of six visiting experts of UK’s FAO Reference Centre for AMR from APHA and The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) alongside colleagues from FAO Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) and WorldFish co-hosted a two-day AMR workshop, in Dhaka on ‘’AMR Surveillance in Veterinary and Aquaculture Settings in Bangladesh”. A total of 40 experts actively participated in the workshop.

Image of a male presenting in front of an AMR banner with a panel of four other male colleagues
Delegates presented their latest insights and findings during the Bangladesh AMR Workshop

Delegates included relevant policy representatives from Bangladesh national government, scientists from Bangladesh research institutes and reference laboratories and academia, members of the Fleming Fund Country Grant Bangladesh, Fleming Fund Fellows, and One Health experts from the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh.

The workshop brought together the relevant stakeholders to share and review recent insights and achievements, identified approaches to strengthen existing surveillance structures and policy frameworks to produce recommendations for future work in this area in support of the Bangladesh AMR National Action Plan and established a framework for future collaboration.

Image of a male speaking to a small group of other males
Approaches to strengthen surveillance structures and policy frameworks were discussed in participatory break-out sessions

We look forward to continued engagement with our colleagues in Qatar and Bangladesh, and the new collaborations and projects commencing as a result of the workshops.

“It is the high time to give more focus on aquaculture in light of AMR and AMU. Through this collaboration, both the aquaculture and animal health sector will be benefitted and safe animal protein will be ensured.”

Dr. Md. Abu Sufian, Director, Account, Budget and Audit Section, Department of Livestock Services

The UK FAO Reference Centre for AMR designation is held by APHA, Cefas and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate. It has received funding from Defra, the Fleming Fund, and the Gulf Strategy Fund (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office).

The Fleming Fund is a £265 million UK aid investment to tackle antimicrobial resistance in low- and middle-income countries around the world. The programme is managed by the UK Department of Health and Social Care.

Find out more

You may be interested in reading some of our other AMR-related blogs in our AMR catalogue.

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