THE Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has said it would deploy its expertise in countries to mitigate the effect of antimicrobial resistance in food and agriculture.
The project which was funded by Norwegian government through NORAD is expected to cover Nigeria and other countries in Africa.
Antimicrobial Resistance which endangers human veterinary occurs as a result of abuse of antibiotics on animal, which subsequently undermines the efficacy of veterinary and human medicine.
According to the Country Representative of FAO in Nigeria, Suffyan Koroma, who was represented by Hiver Boussini, FAO is always ready to contribute to international efforts to mitigating the spread of antimicrobial resistance.
“Antimicrobial Resistance is a global threat to human and animal health. It endangers modern human veterinary medicine as well as undermines the safety of our food and environment. This is because the misuse of antibiotics in agriculture contributes to the spread of AMR and also undermines the efficacy of veterinary and human medicines.
“This is crisis, and it is global. It is one of the major threat to public in this generation, as gripping evidence shows that the total volume of antibiotics used, also in food production drives resistance.
“Armed with right expertise, FAO is uniquely placed to contribute to international efforts to address Antimicrobial Resistance and to provide support to governments, producers, traders and other stakeholders to adopt measures to minimize the use of antimicrobials and to reduce AMR, while being sensitive to the needs of the food and agriculture sector worldwide”, Koroma said.
He, however, said “to this effect, FAO has an outlined action plan for 2016-2020 ‘supporting the food and agriculture sectors in implementing the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance to minimize the impact of antimicrobial resistance’.
He highlighted the four focus areas to include; “improve awareness on AMR and related threats, develop capacity for Antimicrobial Resistance surveillance and monitoring and its use in food and agriculture, animal and human context.
“Strengthen governance related to antimicrobial use and Antimicrobial Resistance in food and agriculture and promote good practices in food and agriculture, human and animal systems and the prudent use of antimicrobials”.
He expressed hope that the meeting would address the issues according to the needs and priorities of countries and regions in Africa, and assess the current mitigation strategies that will pave way for the development and effective implementation of adequate approaches to address Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Use
Dr Irene Ouoba, Antimicrobial Regional Resistant Coordinator for Sub Sahara said, “whatever is related to food, whether for agriculture or for animal health, it is our mandate. We cannot work alone that is why we have this initiative to organize this regional workshop by inviting other sectors, we have to work together because antimicrobial resistance doesn’t know borders, doesn’t know sectors, but when it start in sector it can contaminate the others, it is why we have this initiative and trying to involve the other sectors to mitigate it”.