Moving from plans to action – updates on the FAO’s Fleming Fund work

The FAO works to tackle AMR using a one-health approach alongside WHO and OIE.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is supported by the Fleming Fund to tackle AMR through a one-health approach alongside the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). This activity is now in its second year and the focus has shifted from supporting countries to develop National Action Plans to assisting these countries in putting the plans into action.

The Fleming Fund’s FAO secondee, Dr Suzanne Eckford, explains that there have been great leaps made in encouraging grassroot changes in the behaviour of key stakeholders. This is done using the social science behind communication to understand what drives current practice, and what can be done to change it. Farmers need help to continue to feed the world in a safe and sustainable way. Antimicrobials are needed to treat sick animals and ensure their welfare, therefore supporting food security and livelihoods. However, when it comes to preventing and treating illness, farmers across the globe are struggling to access expert advice and the appropriate treatments. This leads to overuse and misuse of antibiotics, further exacerbating the antimicrobial resistance threat.

To improve farmers' access to expert advise, support needs to be up-scaled for veterinarians, animal health workers and extension officers. This support will ensure these sectors have the necessary tools for infection prevention programs, diagnostics and treatment. In Bangladesh, FAO, OIE and WHO are bringing together physicians and veterinarians to develop new guidelines for the responsible use of antimicrobials in human and animal health that will further support farmers across the world. In addition to these guidelines, the FAO are working with the Bangladesh AMR Response Alliance (BARA) to pilot a mobile app which can be used by vets in the field to optimize prescription practices for poultry. Following positive results the app and training program can be expanded to more sectors and countries.

The work in FAO funded by the Fleming Fund continues to find new and innovative ways to support farmers and the wider one-health community to tackle the global threat of AMR.

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