Dr Budimir Plavsic, the OIE representative for Europe, reported on the activities of the Global Triaprtite Secretariat, and commitment of the European offices of the OIE, WHO and FAO to establish effective regional One Health coordination mechanism (e.g. Regional Tripartite Secretariat for Europe) at the regional AMR webinar in the framework of the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) 2020.
Over 255 representatives of the public health, the animal health, and the environment attended the joint regional webinar on AMR on 23 November 2020 during the WAAW 2020. The tripartite priority activity was organised by the OIE sub-regional representation for Central Asia in close cooperation with the FAO regional office for Europe and Central Asia and the WHO regional office for Europe. The webinar was focused on the action and partnership on AMR to ensure a coordinated “One Health” approach in Europe and Central Asia.
The regional Tripartite mechanism in Europe is going to be a regional operational One Health platform of the FAO-OIE-WHO offices in Europe, ideally with UN Environment Programme (UNEP), for discussion and coordination in Europe in partnership with Member Countries and regional partners, including the European Union, Eurasian Economic Union, research and collaborating centres. The Regional Tripartite Secretariat will be modelled on the Global Tripartite Secretariats, as well as be used the experience of the regional ones in Africa and Asia/Pacific. This platform will be accountable to the Global Tripartite Secretariat, and Members Countries, as well as ensure a bottom-to-top approach.
Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, the WHO Regional Director for Europe, fully supported the regional tripartite initiative, emphasizing that addressing the threat of AMR requires a holistic and multisectoral approach, “One Health” approach. He presented three further considerations about advanced actions and partnership on AMR: raising awareness and understanding of human behaviour, coordinating all efforts using “One Health” approach, and elevating “One Health” as a political priority for every sector. “To mobilize progress I have prioritised behavioural and cultural insights as a flagship initiative. It is key to tackling AMR through monitoring, public knowledge, risk perceptions, behaviours, and trust”, said the WHO Regional Director for Europe.
The speakers expressed their growing concern over the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials in order to prevent COVID-19 and therefore contributing to the AMR challenge. Global COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the AMR threat worldwide. “AMR is silent and chronic pandemic. And we must acknowledge the lack of universal awareness”, stressed the speaker. The representatives of the international organisations called on the Member-countries to strengthen and intensify their efforts to increase public awareness on AMR, to promote the prudent and responsible use of antimicrobials, as well as to improve intersectoral coordination at local and national levels. According to a poll conducted during the webinar, the country representatives indicated that the weak intersectoral collaboration, insufficient funding, as well as the lack of appropriate legislation and policy had been complicating AMR control and surveillance.
Mr. Vladimir Rakhmanin, the FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia, stressed the critical importance of the “One Health” approach to tackle AMR. According to Mr. Rakhmanin, the “One Health” approach to combat AMR, zoonotic, and other transboundary diseases were defined by the FAO’s Member-countries as priority areas in Europe and Central Asia region, thereby supporting the regional tripartite secretariat initiative. Also, the FAO saw the need to more engaging of Codex Alimentarius in the global response to AMR.
We have to unite in committing to slow AMR, and preserving the efficiency of antimicrobials.