Enhancing Antimicrobial Stewardship in Asia's Livestock, Aquaculture & Crop Production Systems

Ducks. Credit: Richard Nyberg/USAID
Credit: Richard Nyberg/USAID

The development and commercialization of drugs that kill micro-organisms harmful to humans and animals stands as a defining achievement of 20th century medical practice.  Antimicrobials heralded an era of expanded life expectancy, paved the way for advanced medical and surgical treatments, improved animal welfare, and made possible curative therapy for once-fatal infections.  However, decades of overuse use of antimicrobials now threaten these advancements.

Antimicrobials as a shared global resource contribute to food security, food safety, and animal welfare that help protect livelihoods and the sustainability of countries’ livestock, poultry and aquatic animal production.  

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and partners, works to enhance antimicrobial stewardship and responsible antimicrobial use in agriculture aligned to internationally endorsed strategies and standards.

IMPACT AND RESULTS

Raising awareness on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and related threats.  The project develops communication materials, education and training, implementation of communication and advocacy campaigns, social media campaigns and evaluation research monitoring to raise awareness of AMR and promote good stewardship practices in Asia.  Some of the key outreach tools include an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Strategy on AMR Communication and Advocacy, an assessment tool for knowledge, attitude and practices on AMR (KAP+), and the Regional AMR Communication Toolkit.  The project has also fostered regional engagement at the annual celebration of the World Antibiotic Awareness Week.

Improving surveillance and monitoring of antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial use in food and agriculture.  The project has helped initiate and improve AMR surveillance in food and agriculture in Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Philippines, and Vietnam.  The region has also benefitted from improved skills through systematic assessments of laboratory gaps and needs.  Examples include conducting field visits to address gaps, supporting training and improving access to resources. The project will soon roll out new tools for the region, such as regional AMR surveillance guidelines for bacteria from healthy animals, diseased livestock and poultry, aquaculture, animal settings, and antimicrobial use data collection at farms, helping to promote responsible use and target interventions where they are most needed.

Strengthening governance related to antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance in food and agriculture.  The project team set up platforms to ensure that AMR policy-and decision-making are supported by quality evidence and in line with internationally accepted standards.  An AMU/AMR Technical Advisory Group, FAO Reference Center for AMR (Chulalongkorn University), and the FAO-World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Network of Reference and Collaborating Centers on AMR have benefited from USAID support.  The project also collaborates with other USAID partners to develop and revise regulatory frameworks to further integrate a One Health approach to addressing AMR.  A key product is a regional guide for governments to review, update and develop evidence-based policies and regulatory standards to promote responsible antimicrobial use and address antimicrobial resistance in animal production.

Promoting good practices in food and agriculture systems and the prudent use of antimicrobials.  The project documents and provides technical guidance on good practices. Baseline data collection from farms on biosecurity, good animal husbandry and management practices and basic operational factors that may drive AMU as part of the KAP+ studies will feed into new training modules to enhance on-farm biosecurity, best production practices and prudent AMU. 

Last updated: July 03, 2019

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