From Department of Health; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Published on 23 June 2022
Last updated on 23 June 2022
Today, Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD will host the Building One Health Action under iNAP2 conference at Farmleigh House.
The event brings together stakeholders from across the One Health sectors – human health, animal, plant health and the environment. This event recognises the work undertaken in Ireland’s National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2017-2021 (iNAP1) and acknowledges the publication of Ireland’s second One Health National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2021-2025 (iNAP2).
Minister Donnelly said:
“I’m delighted to see colleagues from the human health, animal and plant health and environment sectors coming together today at this important event. It’s amazing to see such commitment to the One Health approach, and I’d like to acknowledge and thank all of the stakeholders across the sectors for both their work under iNAP1, and for their ongoing contributions under iNAP2.”
Minister McConalogue added:
“As Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, I see the connection between human and animal health has inextricably linked. I am delighted to be here today as part of a continued One Health collaborative effort to address antimicrobial resistance, and look forward to other One Health collaborations for the benefit of our society.
“Tackling AMR collectively across the three One Health sectors is critically important to achieving the best public, animal and plant health, as well as environmental outcomes. This will aid us in achieving sustainable development and further ensuring food security. A One Health focus has never been more important considering the recent global challenges in both human and animal health such as COVID-19 and avian influenza.’’
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said:
“Ireland’s One Health journey has been marked by a collaborative, productive and supportive relationship across the various sectors. This event is timely and, importantly provides a great opportunity to reconnect with our colleagues in the animal, plant health and environment sectors, and continue to build on the progress we have made to date.’’
Dr Martin Blake, Chief Veterinary Officer, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine said:
“Today’s event acknowledges all of the work done under iNAP1 in tackling AMR, and the even greater ambition driving the actions contained in iNAP2. This second action plan builds on the solid foundation of the work done under iNAP1 and reflects a real collective commitment by all three sectors to further address the AMR challenge in a One Health context. Disease prevention and antimicrobial stewardship are both critical objectives in the context of mitigating the risk of AMR.’’
Rachel Kenna, Chief Nursing Officer, Department of Health added:
“I’m delighted to attend today and to acknowledge the work of all stakeholders under iNAP1, and the establishment of iNAP2. The One Health approach, with its whole of society focus, recognises that the health and well-being of people is connected to the health and welfare of animals, biodiversity, and the environment. A focus on patient safety is at the heart of the second National Action Plan. This will allow for improved patient care through the appropriate use of antimicrobials, alongside best practice in infection prevention and control. Everybody has a role to play and iNAP2 supports this by increasing awareness, education, promoting research and emphasising quality improvement.”
The keynote speaker is Dr Emer Cooke, Executive Director, European Medicines Agency. The event will include presentations from experts and practitioners across the human, animal and environmental health sectors.
The Ministers welcomed the progress achieved through the work and involvement of all the stakeholders who have made valuable contributions through their leadership on various actions across the three sectors. The Ministers also acknowledged the members of the National Interdepartmental Antimicrobial Resistance Consultative Committee for their advice and guidance in relation to the development of both action plans.
This event and the continued commitment to a One Health approach to tackling the problem of AMR under iNAP2 is another important milestone in Ireland’s journey in combating AMR.
Further information on AMR and the iNAP2 publication is available on the joint AMR webpage.
National Action Plans on AMR are an international commitment to Member States of both the European Commission and the World Health Organisation.
iNAP2 was developed following the WHO Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance. The plan contains a range of strategic interventions and activities across the human health, animal health and environmental sectors grouped under five strategic objectives aimed at:
1. Improving awareness and knowledge of AMR
2. Enhancing surveillance of antibiotic resistance and antibiotic use
3. Reducing the spread of infection and disease
4. Optimizing the use of antibiotics in human and animal health; and
5. Promoting research and sustainable investment in new medicines, diagnostic tools, vaccines and other interventions
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is resistance of a microorganism to a drug that was originally effective for treatment of infections caused by that microorganism. Resistant microorganisms (including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites) are able to withstand attack by antimicrobial drugs, such as antibacterial drugs (e.g., antibiotics), antifungals, antivirals, and antimalarials, so that standard treatments become ineffective and infections persist, increasing the risk of spread to others.
Antimicrobials are essential to the practice of modern medicine, enabling sophisticated medical interventions and treatments, such as chemotherapy and organ transplants.
The One Health concept is a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for humans, animals and the environment. Recognising that human health, animal health and ecosystem health are inextricably linked, One Health seeks to promote, improve and defend the health and well-being of all species by enhancing cooperation and collaboration between physicians, veterinarians, other scientific health and environmental professionals and by promoting strengths in leadership and management to achieve these goals.
There is international consensus through the One Health Initiative to which the WHO (World Health Organisation), FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) and the OIE (World Health Organisation for Animal Health) are signatories, that tackling the global public health threat of AMR requires action across human and animal health sectors, agriculture and the wider environment.
At a national level the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) of the Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, respectively, established the National Interdepartmental Antimicrobial Resistance Consultative Committee. It was established in 2014. Committee membership consists of representatives of both Departments, relevant HSE agencies, EPA, HPRA, FSAI and other key stakeholder groupings in the human and animal health sectors.
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