Consultative meeting on addressing the challenge of Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR)

 

 

The Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MOHME) in the Islamic Republic of Iran organized a two day meeting on 3-4 July, 2017, with the technical support of World Health Organization (WHO), to highlight the challenges associated with AMR, advocate for the multi-sectoral approaches for tackling these, present the national AMR action plan developed by Iran, and invite neighbouring countries to share experiences and lessons.

The two main objectives of the meeting were to advocate with concerned stakeholders the importance of addressing AMR through a multi-sectoral approach and to endorse the National AMR Action Plan. The consultative meeting was prepared and conducted with the technical assistance of WHO experts from Eastern Mediterranean Region and Headquarters, experts from FAO and Sweden, and national experts. Representatives from MOHME and universities of medical sciences in Iran, and delegations from Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan participated in the meeting.

The meeting emphasized that Antimicrobial resistance is recognized a major public health threats which not only puts life of people at risk but threatens the achievement of developmental goals. Major challenges to combat AMR include lack of proper knowledge and understanding of antimicrobial resistance, absence of strong policies to regulate the use of antibiotics, lack of adequate national Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) programmes in health care facilities and inadequate laboratory services at national level to monitor trends of resistance.

A Global Action Plan (GAP) for AMR been developed by WHO and was earlier endorsed by Member States at the 2014 World Health Assembly. The purpose of the GAP is to guide countries to develop their National Action Plan (NAP) for AMR. Iran has developed its NAP for AMR that is aligned with the GAP and follows an incremental approach thereby allowing the country to adapt it to its specific AMR needs, available resources while adopting a multi-sectoral approach.

Dr Mahmoud Fikri, WHO Regional Director for Eastern Mediterranean Region especially visited Iran to lend support to this consultative meeting and congratulated Iran for developing the NAP for AMR. He reiterated the necessity to establish a governance structure comprising multi-sectoral high level decision makers from human health, food and agriculture, animal health, environment, education and finance based on the country’s context, in order to oversee the implementation of NAP for AMR. Dr Rana Hajjeh, Director DCD, WHO EMRO was also present on the occasion and led the technical support on behalf of WHO along with Elizabeth Tayler from WHO HQ.

Dr Seyed Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi, Minister of Health and Medical Education thanked the Regional Director WHO EMRO for his presence and expressed his commitment to implement the NAP for AMR. Also present on the occasion were Dr Ali Akbar Sayyari Deputy Minister for Health, and Head of Veterinary Organization from Ministry of Agriculture-Jahad.