PARIS – The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) is working to help doctors and veterinarians combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). OIE released its OIE Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy to encourage the “prudent use and management of antimicrobial products in animals,” according to an OIE release.
OIE, in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), works with its 180 member countries to fight antimicrobial resistance in humans and animals across the globe. Antimicrobial resistance occurs when microorganisms that cause disease stop responding to the antimicrobial drugs that were once given as treatment. As a result, people and animals can die from common illnesses because drugs stop working against them.
According to a letter from Dr. Monique Eloit, Director General of the OIE, in the “OIE Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy” report, “OIE communications and advocacy materials foster understanding of the risks of AMR (antimicrobial resistance) and encourage the adoption of measures that slow its spread. OIE science drives the development of tools and policies that support Veterinary Services and enhance animal health and welfare.”
In 2015, during the 83rd OIE General Session in Paris, the 180 member countries of the OIE committed to combat AMR and promote the prudent use of antimicrobials in animals. One year later, during the 84th OIE General Session, the World Assembly of Delegates directed OIE to develop the OIE Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy.
The “OIE AMR Strategy” report outlines four objectives and describes plans already in place and in development to support member countries in averting the threat of AMR. The objectives include:
- Improving awareness and understanding
- Strengthening knowledge through surveillance and research
- Supporting good governance and capacity building
- Encouraging the implementation of international standards.
As part of its AMR Strategy, the OIE is developing a database to establish global surveillance of the use of antimicrobials in animals. The database is designed to:
- Monitor the type and use of antimicrobial products
- Measure trends over time
- Trace circulation and use patterns globally
- Evaluate the quality and authenticity of antimicrobial products in use.
“We, sectors and countries, all share responsibility in the development of antimicrobial resistance. It is by addressing this global threat together that we will manage to protect human and animal health, and therefore, our future,” Eloit said.