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International partnership to address human-animal-environment health risks gets a boost

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) agreed to step up joint action to combat health threats associated with interactions between humans, animals and the environment.

Thursday 7 June 2018 (3 months 13 days ago)
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In a Memorandum of Understanding signed, FAO, OIE and WHO agreed to strengthen their long-standing partnership, with a strong focus on tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

AMR is a high priority for the three organizations, who are working together to develop global systems for AMR surveillance and use of antimicrobials, a global antimicrobial stewardship programme, and a monitoring and evaluation framework for the global action plan. A current comprehensive framework of international standards on responsible and prudent use of antimicrobials is regularly adapted to keep up with the development of scientific knowledge.

In addition to AMR, the new agreement will focus on improving disease forecasting capabilities for more informed and swifter responses to emerging and endemic zoonotic diseases (including foodborne diseases); helping countries strengthen their national health systems; and undertaking joint activities related to reduction of threats.

"Over 60% of existing and emerging pathogens affecting humans originate in animals; 75% of these from wildlife. So we cannot deal with human health, animal health, and ecosystem health in isolation - we have to look at them together, and address them together. This partnership pools the unique expertise of each organization and brings their combined weight to bear to do just that, via a 'One Health' approach," said FAO Director-General, Jose Graziano da Silva.

Joint activities under the new agreement will include:

  • Supporting the Interagency Coordination Group on AMR established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2016, as well as the continuing implementation of the Global Action Plan on AMR.
  • Engaging with countries to reinforce national and regional human health, animal health and food safety services.
  • Improving inter-agency collaboration in foresight analysis, risk assessment, preparedness building and joint responses to emerging, remerging and neglected infectious diseases at the animal-human-ecosystems interface.
  • Addressing food safety challenges requiring a multi-sector approach in the context of reinforcing food security.
  • Promoting coordinated research and development to achieve a common understanding of the highest priority zoonotic diseases and the research and development needed to prevent, detect, and control them.
  • Developing a Voluntary Code of Conduct to reinforce implementation of international standards on responsible and prudent use of antimicrobials.

Wednesday May 30, 2018/ OIE.
http://www.oie.int/

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