KHARTOUM, 25 July 2017 - To help stop antimicrobial resistance (AMR) from killing millions and costing the global economy trillions of dollars, partners from the health and agriculture sectors are coming together in Khartoum, Sudan from 24-27 July to draft a national action plan.
By the year 2050, resistance to life-saving antimicrobial drugs such as antibiotics is estimated to cost the world 10 million lives and US$ 100 trillion per year. In many countries, including Sudan, bacteria, viruses and other pathogens are becoming more resistant to antimicrobial drugs because of inappropriate or excessive use of these drugs in the health and agriculture sectors.
“To stop the life-threatening antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the public health and agriculture sectors must work hand in hand on several issues at the same time,” says Dr. Naeema Al Gasseer, the World Health Organization (WHO) Representative for Sudan. “Laws and regulations about drug use and the prohibition of fake or poor quality drugs must be strengthened and enforced. Patients must steer clear of fake antimicrobial drugs, only obtaining their medicine from the proper health professionals and follow their doctor’s prescriptions to the end; and overprescription and overuse must be stopped.”
Babagana Ahmadu, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Representative for Sudan, adds, “The same issues apply in the agriculture sector, as well as the need for proper hygiene and waste management when handling livestock. In fact, since estimates say two-thirds of the increase in antimicrobial drug use will come from the animal production sector, agriculture is a key part of this fight.”
FAO and WHO are developing national action plans (NAPs) to fight antimicrobial resistance, together with national and international partners under the One Health concept. This concept recognizes that antimicrobial resistance is connected to the health of humans, animals and the environment. With the support of the Government of Sudan, the country will only be the fourth in the Region to have such a national action plan which addresses all the causes of antimicrobial resistance in a holistic way.
Building on earlier stakeholder consultations, in-depth research and collaborative workshops, a first version of the national action plan will be drafted on 24–27 July 2017 in close collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Sudanese Ministries of Health (FMoH), Agriculture and Forestry (FMoAF), and Animal Resources and Fisheries (FMoARF).