INITIATIVES OF THE NATIONAL ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE (AMR) PROGRAMME – ANIMAL HEALTH SECTOR IN THE PHILIPPINES
Friday, October 18, 2019, 3:15 pm – 4:!5 pm
Stephani Marie U. Rada
Animal Health and Welfare Division, Bureau of Animal Industry, Department of Agriculture
The inappropriate use of antimicrobials has led to the accelerated emergence of a growing public health threat known as Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). AMR is the ability of microbes, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi to grow despite the presence of antimicrobials. This implies a longer duration of illness, a higher class of drugs required and more expensive costs needed to treat the disease. Livestock and aquaculture production in the Philippines had intensified due to high demands for food protein sources, corresponding to the continuous growth of the human population. Recognizing the threat of AMR, the Philippines, through the collaboration of different government agencies and private stakeholders, has written the Philippine National Action Plan to Combat AMR: One Health Approach. This document serves as the country roadmap on how to fight AMR in human and animal health sector through a multi-sectoral approach. The National AMR Programme of the animal health sector, through the leadership of the Bureau of Animal Industry, is continuously working with relevant stakeholders to achieve its goal to address the global threat of AMR. To support the programme implementation, special orders for the Regional AMR Coordinators and the Regional Food Safety and AMR Awareness and Advocacy Coordinators (RFS3AC) were created; the Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Plan for Animal Health (ARSP-AH) was collaboratively developed, endorsed by the DA Secretary and circulated among relevant government stakeholders; capacity building to local government unit (LGU) field personnel; support to laboratory materials for AMR surveillance and several information, education, and communication materials for target stakeholders were produced and distributed. However, there are still a lot of areas that need to be improved, particularly in the area of awareness and advocacy, surveillance and governance.