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Antimicrobial resistance can be a threat to food security, says PM

04 May 2021 21:02:05 | Update: 04 May 2021 21:02:05
Antimicrobial resistance can be a threat to food security, says PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. File photo

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) will not only endanger human, animal and plant health, but also threaten food security and the progress achieved in SDGs.

"The Covid-19 pandemic is the defining public health crisis of our time that has already taken more than three million lives. However, the impending pandemic, in the form of antimicrobial resistance, will cause even more harm to the global health," she said.

The Prime Minister said this in her pre-recorded video message in the 'One Health Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (GLG-AMR)' as co-chair with Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Amor Mottley.

Sheikh Hasina said antimicrobial resistance can affect anyone, regardless of geographical location and socioeconomic condition.

"For AMR containment, we’ve to ensure strict adherence to Infection Prevention and Control-IPC measures. That’s possible through implementation of Global Action Plan-2015 on AMR and 2016 UN political declaration on AMR," she said.

In this regard, she put forward seven suggestions for addressing the challenges of AMR which is crucial for preventing future pandemics.

These include: Setting up of global, regional, and national targets and inclusive monitoring as well as reporting system to achieve the goals of ARC, developing guidelines and policies at different tiers for the appropriate use of antimicrobials and Sharing of scientific knowledge and technical assistance for ensuring effective and inclusive AMR surveillance and capacity building.

The others are: Ensuring equitable access to affordable and effective antibiotics and other medical facilities through technology transfer and sharing of ownership, sufficient and sustainable financing for AMR-specific and AMR-sensitive actions with special attention to low- and middle-income countries, public-private partnerships for investment in AMR containment; and inclusive, affordable and sustainable universal health care coverage.

Talking about Bangladesh, she said the government has adopted numerous initiatives to ensure effective antimicrobial usage at the domestic level.

"We’ve developed a six-year National Strategic Plan and National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance Containment (ARC)," she said.

The Prime Minister said the plans aim to ensure rational use of antimicrobials in human health, livestock, fisheries, and agricultural sector.

She said Bangladesh is providing AMR data to WHO GLASS platform from 2019.

Besides, she said, the government is also involving the media to increase awareness among the mass people about the antimicrobial resistance.

Hasina, as the co-chair of the Global Leaders Group on AMR, reiterated her call to the global leaders to establish AMR as a top priority issue in the political agenda to combat the threat of AMR and create a universal health care system.

The Prime Minister iterated her commitment to work together with the Prime Minister of Barbados as the co-chair of the Global Leaders Group on AMR.

She also appreciated the ongoing efforts of WHO, FAO, and OIE to formulate global strategies for tackling the upcoming challenges of AMR through a comprehensive and collaborative approach with diverse stakeholders.