Global progress made to address antibiotic reduction, says OIE

Dr Khadija Id Sidi Yahia said progress on fighting AMR has been made

More countries are warning industry stakeholders about the risks of antimicrobial resistance than they were two years ago, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

The number of countries that have no system to communicate the risk of antibiotic resistance with stakeholders in the animal health or agricultural production field has dropped, according to an OIE report.

In total, the number of countries with no system for communication has fallen from 35% before 2015 to 17% post-2015.

The OIE gathered the insight from a survey sent to its 180 members this year. In total, 135 countries responded, giving an overall response rate of above 75%. As such, it does provide a clue as to how countries all around the world choose to handle the threat of farm-driven antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Progress on AMR

The topic is a massive priority for the OIE, which launched a global strategy to alleviate AMR in November 2016.

Its report on the progress made by its members was unveiled at the OIE’s 85th general session, which has been running in Paris this week.

It shows 22% of respondents did not carry out any significant activities to raise awareness of the risks associated with AMR. Before 2015, the OIE claimed 46% of its members had not carried out any noteworthy communication about the threats of farm-driven antibiotic resistance.

‘Change in practice’

Among the large majority of countries that have carried out activities to boost awareness, just under two-thirds (63%) said they only carried out a few initiatives. Around 40% have carried out targeted campaigns in conjunction with nationwide promotional work.

Dr Khadija Id Sidi Yahia, from the Morocco-based National Office for the Safety of Food Products (ONSSA), presenting the findings at the OIE’s general session, said they showed progress had been made.

The results reveal a change in practices over recent years and ambitious objectives in the medium and long-terms,” said Yahia.

In addition, they highlight the need to capitalise on the progress achieved with the first data collection on antimicrobial use, through the OIE database set up in 2016.

The OIE has said it plans to “capitalise on the progress made” so far, furthering its implementation of the four AMR reduction objectives: improving awareness and understanding; strengthening knowledge through surveillance and research; supporting good governance and capacity building; and encouraging the implementation of international standards.

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