Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, today marked European Antibiotic Awareness Day by launching a new One Health antimicrobial resistance logo to promote increased awareness and understanding of the serious global One Health challenge of antimicrobial resistance.
The Minister welcomed European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) which takes place annually on 18th November, in partnership with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (18 – 24 November 2022).
Minister McConalogue said: ‘’Ireland continues to adopt a One Health approach to addressing one of our greatest One Health challenges – antimicrobial resistance. Our second national action plan to address antimicrobial resistance, iNAP2 recognises the synergy between human, animal, plant and environmental health and our interdependence for mutual health and well-being.
Many of the animal health actions under iNAP2 relate to improving animal health, and preventing disease, recognising that these are key steps to reduce the use of antibiotics, and effectively tackle AMR. Sustained optimal animal health is critical to the future profitability and sustainability of our farming and processing industries, and to the protection of public health and of our shared environment. The theme for European Antibiotic Awareness Day is preventing antimicrobial resistance together, which highlights the importance of collective action. ‘’
The Minister acknowledged that many of the actions being taken by the animal health sector under INAP2 relate to improving animal health and preventing disease, thereby reducing the use of antibiotics, and effectively tackling AMR. Such a preventative approach aligns with other Department strategies such as the National Farmed Animal Health Strategy and supports Ireland’s ambition to be a world leader in sustainable food systems.
Minister McConalogue commented: ‘’Raising awareness of the risks of antimicrobial resistance remains important, and this new One Health AMR logo serves to highlight the importance of responsible use of antimicrobials in order to mitigate the development and spread of AMR. Both the human and animal health sector depend on having effective antimicrobials for disease treatment.
“Antimicrobial resistance is now a leading cause of deaths worldwide. It is incumbent on us all to address this problem.
“Awareness of the risks posed by AMR is crucial to driving behavioural change in how antimicrobials are prescribed and used. Through iNAP2 the animal health sector stakeholders continue to show leadership and work collaboratively to deliver actions which promote optimal animal health and food security in a sustainable way, in line with Food Vision 2030, the stakeholder-led strategy for the agri-food sector, and the Government’s Climate Action Plan.”
The Minister also acknowledged that improving knowledge and awareness of the acronym ‘AMR’ among all one health stakeholders is vitally important to achieve the overall aims of iNAP2. It is important that AMR as an acronym is identifiable and understood by all stakeholders, as more and more information and knowledge about AMR is published and relayed across all three one health sectors at a national, European and global level.
The Minister added that: “the overall aim of the new logo is creation of a simple, clear, impactful, relatable brand that improves knowledge and awareness of AMR in the One Health context, and which can be used successfully by any of the one health sectors to promote the AMR relevant messages.’’
Notes for Editors New logo is attached in jpg format
Further information on AMR and the iNAP2 publication is available on the joint AMR webpage: www.gov.ie/amr
National Action Plans on AMR
National Action Plans on AMR are an international commitment to Member States of both the European Commission and the World Health Organisation.
iNAP2 was developed following the WHO Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance. The plan contains a range of strategic interventions and activities across the human health, animal health and environmental sectors grouped under five strategic objectives aimed at:
- Improving awareness and knowledge of AMR;
- Enhancing surveillance of antibiotic resistance and antibiotic use;
- Reducing the spread of infection and disease;
- Optimizing the use of antibiotics in human and animal health; and
- Promoting research and sustainable investment in new medicines, diagnostic tools, vaccines and other interventions
What is AMR?
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is resistance of a microorganism to a drug that was originally effective for treatment of infections caused by that microorganism. Resistant microorganisms (including bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites) are able to withstand attack by antimicrobial drugs, such as antibacterial drugs (e.g., antibiotics), antifungals, antivirals, and antimalarials, so that standard treatments become ineffective and infections persist, increasing the risk of spread to others.
Antimicrobials are essential to the practice of modern medicine, enabling sophisticated medical interventions and treatments, such as chemotherapy and organ transplants.
What is One Health?
The One Health concept is a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for humans, animals and the environment. Recognising that human health, animal health and ecosystem health are inextricably linked, One Health seeks to promote, improve and defend the health and well-being of all species by enhancing cooperation and collaboration between physicians, veterinarians, other scientific health and environmental professionals and by promoting strengths in leadership and management to achieve these goals.
There is international consensus through the One Health Initiative to which the WHO (World Health Organisation), FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) and the OIE (World Health Organisation for Animal Health) are signatories, that tackling the global public health threat of AMR requires action across human and animal health sectors, agriculture and the wider environment.
National Interdepartmental Antimicrobial Resistance Consultative Committee
At a national level the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) of the Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, respectively, established the National Interdepartmental Antimicrobial Resistance Consultative Committee. It was established in 2014. Committee membership consists of representatives of both Departments, relevant HSE agencies, EPA, HPRA, FSAI and other key stakeholder groupings in the human and animal health sectors.