Today in Madrid, the European Commission will organise the first of a series of 15 workshops under the Better Training for Safer Food (BTSF) programme on the prevention and control of AMR in the context of an overall One Health approach. The three-day practical training sessions target officials from the public health, veterinary and food producing sectors in all 28 EU countries.
The workshops will be organised between now and March 2019 in a number of European capitals, namely Madrid, Copenhagen, Prague, Zagreb, Stockholm and Sofia. The next workshop takes place in Prague between 11 and 14 December 2017.
The workshops aim to spread knowledge to government officials in all EU countries working in the human health and veterinary sectors. As the majority of participants are involved at central level in monitoring, surveillance, reporting and control activities, they can make a big difference in implementing a One Health approach to AMR on the ground in their countries. The workshops have the following main objectives:
- Spreading knowledge on methods of prevention and control of AMR in the veterinary and human medicine sectors with a "One health" approach;
- Further harmonising Member States' approaches and sharing best practices in the field of use of antimicrobials;
- Increasing the efficacy of the competent authority in the field of AMR monitoring, reporting and control;
- Increasing the compatibility of procedures and practices between public health authorities and veterinary/food safety authorities across the EU.
AMR is rapidly increasing in the EU and worldwide. Today, an estimated 25 000 deaths per year in the EU are attributed to infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, at an annual cost of EUR 1.5 billion. Combating antimicrobial resistance has become a global public health challenge, and the EU has been at the forefront in the fight against AMR for nearly two decades.
This June, the Commission adopted a new One Health EU Action Plan on AMR, building on the lessons learnt from the previous one which ran from 2011 to 2016. It focuses on key areas with the highest added value for EU countries. One of the Commission's key objectives is to help Member States to establish, implement and monitor their own national One Health action plans on AMR, which they agreed to develop at the 2015 World Health Assembly.