The Ministry of Public Health (MOH), with the support of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), led the update of the National Action Plan for the Control of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) with the One Health multisectoral approach.
The One Health approach brings together different sectors involved in human, animal and plant health, food and feed production, and the environment to achieve better public health outcomes. Following this approach, this first meeting was attended by key players from the health, agricultural, environmental and international agencies sectors, who contributed their observations and new knowledge to this National AMR Plan.
During his opening remarks, the Vice Minister of Collective Health of the MSP, Dr. Eladio Pérez, emphasized that the revision and updating of this Plan is a milestone for the control and elimination of communicable diseases in the country, which will contribute to ensure the health of the population and to comply with the International Health Regulations (IHR).
Olivia Brathwaite, PAHO/WHO Disease Control Advisor in the country, reiterated the Organization’s commitment to support Member States in strengthening their surveillance, prevention and monitoring capacities to counteract antimicrobial resistance in a sustainable manner.
At the beginning of the workshop, the PAHO/WHO regional team, formed by Drs. Pilar Ramon-Pardo, Nathalie El Omeiri, Marcelo Galas and Rodolfo Quiros, presented the regional progress in surveillance and mitigation of AMR in the Americas, including strategies, achievements and challenges in the Region. The impact of the pandemic caused by COVID-19 on antimicrobial resistance was also discussed.
The National AMR Plan, which will also receive financial support from the French Development Agency, follows the five lines of action recommended by the WHO, which are: improving awareness and understanding of the issue; strengthening knowledge and the scientific base; infection prevention; optimal use of antimicrobials; and ensuring financial sustainability.
About Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)
Antimicrobial resistance arises when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and become unresponsive to drugs, making it more difficult to treat infections and increasing the risk of spreading disease, developing severe forms of illness and death.
In addition to being a threat to health, AMR also has socioeconomic impacts because prolonged illness results in longer hospital stays, the need for more expensive drugs and financial hardship for those affected.
Given this level of impact, WHO has declared antimicrobial resistance to be one of the top 10 public health threats facing humanity. Worldwide, 700,000 deaths are reported annually due to AMR.
To slow its progression and promote best practices to reduce AMR, WHO is working closely with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on the One Health approach.