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FAO publishes new plan to counter antimicrobial resistance
Wednesday, 2021/11/24 | 07:18:01

Figure: Members of the AMR Surveillance Pilot Study analyze poultry samples in a laboratory in Nairobi, Kenya. ©FAO/Luis Tato




Rome – The silent global threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) highly impacts the agri-food sector, QU Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) warned today while presenting FAO’s new five-year plan to help Members tackle the challenge.


AMR’s impacts can lead to “economic losses, decline in livestock production, poverty, hunger and malnutrition – particularly in low and middle-income countries,” Qu said in opening remarks at an Information Webinar on the topic hosted by FAO as part of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week.


Bacteria, fungi and other microbes can and do, when subject to repeated exposure to antibiotics and other antimicrobials, become resistant to treatments meant to kill or suppress them, rendering the drugs ineffective and raising the spectre of uncontrollable “superbugs”. 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.


AMR is a particular risk for agriculture - the livestock sector is the primary user of antimicrobials – as misuse or overuse generates resistance that decimates animals and the livelihoods dependent on them. Antimicrobials are also used on crops – notably rice and tomatoes – and in aquaculture to prevent output losses.


“The availability of life saving, effective drugs is essential in animal and crop production,” the Director-General said. “Effective AMR control is the shared responsibility of producers, consumers, investors and policy makers across agri-food systems by good examples and best practices,” he added.


FAO is also working with its partners to establish – with the help of hundreds of inputs from around the world - an AMR Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Platform, to be operational in 2022 and assure that all aspects and all levels of the AMR threat spectrum are addressed.


See https://www.fao.org/newsroom/detail/fao-new-plan-to-counter-antimicrobial-resistance/en

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