Antimicrobials play a critical role in the treatment of human, animal and plant diseases. Their use are essential to food production, safety and security and our well-being. Over the years, the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials have facilitated the emergence and spread of antimicrobial-resistant micro-organisms, hence placing everyone at risk regardless of income, age, and gender. This risk is exacerbated in countries where the regulatory, surveillance and monitoring systems are weak or inadequate for the prevention and control of AMR.
In order to address some of the AMR challenges the African Union Commission (AUC), Regional Tripartite (FAO, WHO and OIE) and UNEP, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), selected Member States and stakeholders from civil society and the private sector held a virtual training and consultative meeting from 16th to 18th February 2021. The objectives of the event were to:
i. Improve awareness, knowledge and skills on AMR from a One Health perspective among livestock, fishery/aquaculture, agriculture, environment and public health experts in RECs.
ii. Identify possible entry points into the vast on-going AMR initiatives in the continent as well as potential collaborations
iii. Develop a draft action plan for Regional Economic Communities on AMR focusing on technical and programmatic support for implementing of National Antimicrobial Plans for their member states and the Regional Economic Communities’ role in supporting sub-regional coordination mechanisms for AMR.
The African Union Task Force for AMR control whose secretariat is jointly held by AU-IBAR and Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presented ongoing AMR work in the Commission and also provided highlights of the Africa Union Common Position on AMR and the AU framework for AMR control. These two documents were endorsed by the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union in February 2020. The FAO, WHO, OIE, UNEP, and ILRI also shared information on their available program and tools on AMR.
Key outcomes of the training and consultative meeting were:
• Commitment to working with RECs to implement priority actions given that RECs are the pillars in coalescing member states to take action on AMR
• Commitment to the One Health approach for addressing the AMR threat in Africa
• The need for nature-based solutions to address AMR
• Work sharing arrangements that facilitate equitable distribution of resources for addressing AMR in Africa
For more information on the African Union Framework on AMR Control kindly visit here