The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), organised a National Stakeholder workshop on the National Action Plan to combat Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).
World Antimicrobial Awareness Week is held every year from November 18-24. It aims to raise awareness of and commitment to tackling the emergence of AMR. To address AMR, the World Health Organization (WHO) spearheaded the development of a Global Action Plan on AMR which was approved in 2015. In April 2017, India was amongst the first nations to have launched the National Action Plan for AMR for 2017 to 2021. Many activities have since been undertaken as per the Action Plan. The Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, with support from Food and Agriculture Organization, plans to review and revise the NAP for 2022 to 2025 for the livestock sector. The stakeholder workshop addressed the revision of the National Action Plan for 2022-2025 with a special focus on Antimicrobial Resistance activities implementable through the animal husbandry sector.
The Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying shared concerns of AMR in aquatic animals as well as livestock and committed towards effective implementation of the One Health framework. They pledged to strive hard to overcome the traditional inefficiencies in strengthening infrastructure and enhancing capacity towards the development of NAP for AMR.
The workshop’s technical sessions witnessed discussion on improving awareness and understanding of AMR through effective communication, education, and training, strengthening knowledge and evidence through surveillance, reducing the incidence of infection through effective infection prevention and control, optimising the use of antimicrobial agents in health, animals, and food, promoting investments for AMR activities, research, and innovations, and strengthening India’s leadership on AMR.
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Addressing the inaugural session, Parshottam Rupala, India’s Minister for Fisheries Animal Husbandry & Dairying said, “The pandemic highlighted the need to address the issues of endemic diseases. We need to address environmental health as well as animal health along with our efforts to ensure quality human healthcare systems and initiatives. Since animals are at the core of zoonotic disease emergence, sincere and coordinated efforts are required to strengthen the overall animal health infrastructure and capacity at state, regional, and national levels.”
“Three key areas of focus need to be awareness building, adopting wellbeing for all with Ayurveda practices and ensuring cleanliness with the aim of ‘Swachata-se-Pavitrata’. I urge all stakeholders to march forward together and pledge full support towards efficient and effective implementation of one the health framework,” the minister added.
Addressing stakeholders at the event, Atul Chaturvedi, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, GoI said, “Antimicrobial Resistance has emerged as one of the principal public health problems of the 21st century. The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India in coordination with FAO has started review and revision of the National Action Plan for AMR. On the revision of the plan for livestock, more states will be motivated to develop state action plans for AMR to launch state-specific initiatives for effective containment of AMR in the states and well as in the country.”
“To tackle the challenges of zoonotic diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance, implementing the One Health framework is imminent and most urgent. Addressing this need, A One Health Support Unit has been established in the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, comprising of domain experts across veterinary science, epidemiology, wildlife, disease diagnosis, laboratory assessor, data standards, and human health sectors,” the official added.
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Through the workshop, the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying encouraged all stakeholders to participate in revising the National Action Plan through research and development and help address this global health crisis.
The other personalities who addressed the inauguration session of the workshop were Dr. Loganathan Murugan, Minister of State, FAHD; Upamanyu Basu, Joint Secretary, (Livestock Health); Tomio Shichiri, FAO Country Representative, India; Dr. Hirofumi Kugita, OIE, Regional Representative, Japan; Jatindra Nath Swain, Secretary, Department of Fisheries, and Dr. Praveen Malik, Animal Husbandry Commissioner, Govt. of India.
The workshop saw the participation of experts from Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, National Centre for Disease Control, WHO, FAO, World Organisation for Animal Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, World Bank, poultry associations, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), India’s provincial animal husbandry departments, veterinary universities, Central disease diagnostic laboratories, among others. A special issue of the Indian Journal of Comparative Microbiology Immunology and Infectious diseases focused on AMR was released at the workshop.