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Ministries unite to fight antimicrobial resistance

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
flickr/Will Crowne/ DFID

An action plan on antimicrobial resistance has been launched by the government to promote human and animal welfare in agriculture.

The launch of the Multi-Sectoral Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2019-2023 was held on Monday in Phnom Penh. The strategy is the work of the ministries of Health, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and Environment.

Tum Sothyra, director of the National Animal Health and Production Research Institute, said yesterday that some farmers and traders are using antimicrobial drugs and antibiotics in husbandry and aquaculture to boost the growth of the animals and keep them healthy.

“The health of humans and animals is more or less similar. If too many antimicrobial drugs are used, or if they are used improperly and without prescription, both humans and animals can develop resistance to the virus, making certain illnesses harder to treat,” he said. “Currently, we are almost running out of antimicrobial drugs because the virus has become highly resistant to drugs. Now the ministries have worked together to come up with a strategy to combat the problem.”

Mr Sothyra pointed out that the Ministry of Agriculture has established an antimicrobial drug resistance technical team and introduced several measures to limit the use of antimicrobial drugs in agriculture. It has also worked with other ministries to train agricultural officials across the country.

Eng Hout, a representative of the Ministry of Health, said that antimicrobial resistance is a serious threat to public health in Cambodia and the world.

“By establishing more robust governance systems and capacities required to address Cambodia’s evolving health needs, and against antimicrobial resistance challenges, we can better prepare for the future,” he said.

Tea Chuop, an undersecretary of state of the Ministry of Environment, said that poor practices in husbandry, hygiene and agricultural waste management contribute to the spread of resistant bacteria in the food chain and the environment.

“This requires a greater contribution and involvement from other sectors, including the Ministry of Environment, to control and contain the progress of antimicrobial resistance,” he said.

The Ministry of Health in November instructed citizens to avoid using antibiotics without prescription to cure fevers and colds, arguing that the medicine could slow down the recovery process or even put people’s health at risk.

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