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Multidisciplinary fight against AMR

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
Group photo of the team reviewing existing legislation relevant to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Photo: KT/ Chor Sokunthea

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) stated that a team of technical staff from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Environment, members of the academia, the private sector, and development partners at national and sub-national levels met on Friday (March 15) to review existing legislation relevant to antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

They aim to identify ways to attain a regulatory framework that effectively addresses AMR.

“If there is no intervention, AMR-associated human mortality is projected to soar to over 10 million annually by 2050. Asia is expected to account for half of this projected global mortality.” read the press release.

AMR is when microorganisms develop resistance to antimicrobials, making the diseases they cause harder to treat. The overuse and misuse of antimicrobials in humans, agriculture, and food production have led to a reduced ability to successfully treat infections by antimicrobials such as antibiotics, anti-virals and anti-malarials that were designed to fight them.

The team leader of the FAO Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases in Cambodia, Dr Kristina Osbjer, said that legislation is essential for the sustainability of policy, and for clarifying roles and responsibilities in the fight against AMR.

By applying a multi-sectorial so called ‘One Heath Approach’ legislation may be coordinated across sectors, thereby achieving a comprehensive legal framework across multiple regulatory areas, with the aim to protect the health of people and ensure food security.”

The spread of AMR makes treating common infectious diseases, like pneumonia, tuberculosis, and salmonellosis harder. It leads to higher medical costs, prolonged treatment periods, and increased mortality in people and animals.

Each year AMR kills an estimated 700,000 people world-wide.

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