International effort needed to combat antimicrobial resistance

Global leaders in animal health discussed new ideas and solutions to the rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) at a three-day event hosted by The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The 2nd Global Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance and Prudent Use of Antimicrobial Agents in Animals (Marrakesh, Morocco, 29-31 October 2018) highlighted the need for cross-sector, national level coordination through national action plans to prevent the development and spread of AMR.

The conference was attended by more than 500 participants, including representatives of OIE’s 182 Member Countries, of international partners (such as FAO, WHO, World Bank, and the United Nations Interagency Coordination Group on AMR), as well as representatives from the meat, dairy, poultry, egg, aquaculture and pharmaceutical industries, civil society and academia.

Conference speakers included Ministers, Deputy Ministers and State Secretaries from countries across the world, including Morocco, Germany, Senegal, Thailand, Japan, Norway, Botswana, Serbia, and Uzbekistan. Many of the Ministers touched on their own national programmes to minimise AMR in animals and how international Standards and leadership helped in their development (see OIE press release: Agriculture Ministers join forces to tackle antimicrobial resistance in farming).

A series of recommendations were released at the end of the meeting. These include an urgent call for new research into priority vaccines and other alternatives to antimicrobials, phasing out the use of antibiotics as growth promoters and ensuring that qualified veterinarians, veterinary paraprofessionals and farmers work closely to ensure prudent and responsible use of key drugs.

Dr Monique Eloit, Director General of OIE, said, “International Standards on prudent use already exist. We now need to put them into practice at national level to tackle AMR. For this, international collaboration is essential. By working together, countries can discuss challenges, share best practice and make global improvements.”

Conference links:

Live broadcast playlist

Video interviews from the conference