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The EU Urges Asian Countries to Establish Strategic Priorities and Common Actions to Combat AMR

19.12.2021

New Delhi, India – 16 December 2021 The EU and Asia should engage in a very dynamic cooperation, to establish strategic priorities and common actions in combating antimicrobial resistance (AMR)”, said Koen Van Dyck, Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), European Commission at the EU-Asia Online Workshop on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) on animal health and the environment held on 15-16 December.

The first EU-Asia AMR Online Workshop was well attended by 40 participants, including key experts, farmers, veterinarians, and other stakeholders, mostly from Europe and India, the host country for this online workshop. It was a second meeting after the high-level AMR webinar held in October, kicking off the series of events under “EU-Asia AMR Events” aiming to enhance cooperation between the EU and nine Asian countries in tackling this urgent issue.

The keynote address by Lesa Thompson, OIE Japan (World Organisation for Animal Health), on ‘AMR in Asia and threats for livestock and animal agriculture’ emphasized the improving awareness and understanding of AMR as well as strengthening our knowledge through surveillance and research. We should support good governance and capacity building and implement international standards.

The Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and implications for animal and environmental health in Asia” was the main topic for Day 1 of the workshop. The three breakout sessions included Farming animals: animal disease identification, response management and prescribing antimicrobials in animal agriculture, Minimising animal to human transmission of AMR: best practices and capacity development in Asia and Aquaculture, AMR and ‘One Health’.

“We must remember we live in a globally interconnected world, we cannot survive in isolation, whether it's the EU or India or Asia. I think all of us must be safe in this world together. Protein requirement is going to be an issue: developing countries are tackling malnutrition unless we have a low cost better alternative available, which will come out only with further research and collaboration. We will have to work together to solve this problem.”, said Jyoti Joshi, ICARS AMR Advisor (International Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance Solutions).

The second day of the workshop addressed “One Health Approach for Antimicrobial Resistance issues in animal agriculture” with breakout sessions with in-depth topics including Optimising antimicrobial use and Stewardship in veterinary antimicrobials, Biosafety and biosecurity: addressing farmers’ concerns and consumers’ perspectives on AMR and Economic implications of AMR in animal agriculture.

Seppo Nurmi, Deputy Head, European Union Delegation to India and Bhutan at the opening of the second day noted that AMR is a classic example of the complex multi-dimensional one health problem affecting humans, animals and the environment. AMR is a global challenge not only for public health, but also for food systems, and for the environment. The European Union is a perfect setting for the emergence and support to dissemination of best policy practices: 27 diverse Member States united in a common policy goal with governmental structures favoring discussion, exchanges, coordination, pooling of talent and of research, analyses of different field approaches and concrete actions.

Gyanendra Gongal, WHO India, stressed the alarming estimated burden of antibiotic resistance and that Asia is a possible hotspot for the AMR problem. His message was that if we do not act right now using the One Health Approach, 10 million people will die by 2050, not because antibiotics are not available, but because the antibiotics we have in our arsenal will not be useful.  

 

Mr Gongal also pointed out the importance of the private sector being involved in combating AMR and having incentives for not using antibiotics. The government policy plays an important role in encouraging the private sector to find alternative approaches.

Participants to this second event in the series of EU-Asia AMR events were keen to exchange their views and insightful information and develop more collaborations in various topics to efficiently combating AMR together. The next EU-Asia AMR Workshop will be held in Japan in February 2022 focusing on human health and the environment.

Background:

This series of high-level international conference and workshops are organised by the European Union under its Partnership Instrument with the EU Delegation to Thailand. Following the first international AMR conference and the AMR Workshop on Animal Health and the Environment hosted by India, two consecutive workshops will be held Japan and China, respectively on Human Health and the Environment, and Research and Innovation, during which experts and stakeholders will be able to exchange views, discuss measures and research that can be undertaken at the national, regional and international levels.

 

More details on the work of the European Commission on AMR are available here.

For more information, please contact:

AMR Events Secretariat (General organisation): Philippe van Maldeghem - pvm@candm.sk

EU Delegation to Thailand: delegation-thailand-pi@eeas.europa.eu

EU Delegation to India:    Ms. Poonam Kapila - poonam.KAPILA@eeas.europa.eu                                             Mr. Viraj Desai - viraj.DESAI@eeas.europa.eu

                                             Mr. Benoit SAUVEROCHE - Benoit.SAUVEROCHE@eeas.europa.eu