FAO supports Ukraine to combat antimicrobial resistance
Kravchenko's family is engaged in livestock. ©FAO/Alexey Filippov.
19 March 2019, Kyiv – Antimicrobial agents play a critical role in reducing morbidity and mortality of human and animal diseases all over the world. However, the emergence and spread of resistance to many of these agents decreases their efficiency, threatening the effectiveness of otherwise successful treatments.
Starting today, an FAO project helps Ukraine in addressing antimicrobial resistance, particularly to improve awareness on antimicrobial resistance and related threats; monitor of antimicrobial use in food and agriculture; strengthen knowledge of related authorities; promote good practices in food and agricultural systems.
Ukraine is committed to take steps to ensure the rational use of antimicrobials in human medicine, veterinary medicine, and food industry in accordance with best international and European practices. One of the effective ways to protect human health is to prevent antibiotic resistance in livestock.
“FAO will support the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food in reducing the spread of antimicrobial resistance in the country, through help in adopting and implementing regulatory mechanisms, educational tools, efficient monitoring programmes for detecting emergence and spread of resistant strains and ensuring good hygiene and sanitation throughout the food chain,” said Eran Raizman, FAO animal health and production expert.
Antimicrobial resistance is a growing global challenge that requires multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral efforts at global, regional and national levels.
To this end, the project inception workshop and follow-up meetings from 19 to 22 March, will bring together representatives of local authorities, line ministries, business and science with the support of FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO). They will plan further steps to implement the National Action Plan to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance, developed by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and recently approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. It is planned to develop several documents for the regulation of the use of antibiotics and the fight against antimicrobial resistance under the One Health approach as outlined in the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance.
“Many microbes affect both animals and humans through the common environment, so 60 percent of all human diseases are derived from animals,” said Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative in Ukraine. “It makes the health of people, animals and the environment inseparable, especially when it comes to the fight against antimicrobial resistance.”
Many countries have already taken significant steps to ban the use of antibiotics for the prevention of animal diseases and as a growth promoter. The Netherlands has tested these practices and became a good example in reducing the use of antibiotics.
“It has been substantially reduced by relatively simple measures, such as improving drinking water quality and improving hygiene. Research has shown that it did not affect farm output and profit,” added Carolien Spaas, agricultural counsellor of the Embassy of the Netherlands.
"Nevertheless, the measures aiming at minimizing the use of antimicrobials in animals are costly and hence can significantly increase products’ prices and impact consumer purchasing capacity,” said FAO project coordinator Vitalii Bashynskiy. “In order to improve hygiene, companies will have to install additional filters, provide water treatment and bedding for animals. The level of biosecurity of farms that claim to refuse the use of antibiotics should be close to the ideal.”
The new FAO project helps to improve the national food safety system, complementing recent efforts by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food, the State Service for Food Safety and Consumer Protection and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.
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