07/12/2021 Bangkok, Thailand

The FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific has supported several activities to raise awareness on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and on the need to use antimicrobials prudently among different audiences of Asia and the Pacific to mark World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW).

The WAAW, observed in some 150 countries every 18-24 November, highlights the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance, or AMR, and is one of the United Nations’ most important global health priorities. This year’s theme was Spread awareness, Stop resistance and adopted the same slogan as last year, Antimicrobials: Handle with care.

FAO recently released a new action plan on AMR for 2021-2025, which will guide the programming of FAO activities in the fight against AMR. Among the key principles of the new action plan are the need for science-based evidence to identify and manage AMR risks before they become large-scale emergencies, the utility of surveillance and training around the world and the importance of incentivizing and empowering stakeholders to transform awareness of AMR risks into action.

Region-wide WAAW events

As part of FAO’s regional collaboration with the Federation of Asian Veterinary Associations, WAAW-related webinars were held in various countries in the Asia and Pacific region. These were primarily aimed at veterinary professionals in select FAVA Member Countries. The campaign theme focused on empowering veterinarians across the region in fulfilling their role in the Global Action Plan on AMR.

In China, FAO RAP technically supported FAO China in their participation in a One Health Conference as part of their activities supporting the global celebrations of WAAW.

In Cambodia, FAO Cambodia, through its Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD), collaborated with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), World Health Organization (WHO) Cambodia and the Royal Government of Cambodia to hold an AMR communication strategy workshop. The hybrid workshop was held in Kampong Cham Province attended by district and provincial animal health officers. FAO Cambodia also collaborated with WHO Cambodia to celebrate WAAW along with government health, agriculture and environment ministries.

In Indonesia, FAO’s ECTAD country team collaborated with the Ministry of Agriculture to hold several WAAW-related activities from AMR video competitions, media briefings and debates to a series of webinars. Social media campaigns were rolled out, along with media engagement such as publication of an editorial article and press releases.

In Lao People’s Democratic Republic, FAO’s national ECTAD team co-organized WAAW with the WHO country office and government ministries collaborated with international partners, government agriculture workers, farmer associations and the private sector. The FAO country office also produced and distributed several WAAW promo items.

FAO country representations in Mongolia, Sri Lanka, and Viet Nam collaborated with their respective agriculture ministries and WHO country offices to celebrate WAAW. The activities included a series of hybrid events such as webinars and social media campaigns. The UN House in Viet Nam turned blue as they joined WAAW partners around the world to “Go Blue.”

In the Philippines, the FAO country office collaborated with that of WHO and government partners to mark this year’s WAAW. A national students’ forum was held including an AMR poster making contest and a series of AMR webinars.

Other activities held during WAAW included a terminal workshop of the FAO RAP AMR in Fisheries Project, celebrations in India, Nepal and Mongolia.

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