As AMR is posing serious threats to human, animal, plant and environmental health in both developed and developing countries, the workshop focuses on deliberating a robust SADC AMR Strategy to tackle the threat.
Speaking during the opening of the two day workshop, Patrick Kormawa, FAO subregional coordinator for Southern Africa, said that the recent trends in globalisation, ease of fast and long-distance travel as well as increased international trade mean that resistant pathogens (disease causing germs) can be transmitted freely across national and regional borders.
“It is therefore important for Regional Economic Communities (RECs) such as the SADC, to develop strategies and action plans that will enable member states effectively address AMR from a regional perspective,” said Kormawa.
“AMR is especially a concern for Africa where the ground is fertile for it to set in, that is antimicrobials are over the counter medicines and freely available and often handled by untrained persons. There are issues of under-dosing, and overuse, free flow of counterfeit drugs, taking advantage of weak regulatory controls across sectors,” said Moetapele Letshwenyo, OIE Subregional Representative for Southern Africa.
This is envisaged that the SADC AMR Strategy would assist in harmonising efforts to curb AMR and bring closer different stakeholders involved in its control in the Southern Africa region.
Walter Fuller, representing WHO, noted, “As such, the issue of AMR is very urgent and should be tackled with the urgency that it deserves. However, to be able to tackle it effectively, we must be pragmatic; we must collaborate and understand that AMR is a crosscutting issue.”