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01-01-2008 - Stakeholders meeting on critically important antimicrobials “There is a need for an integrated strategy for animal health and human health” regarding critically important antimicrobials and the development of resistance against these drugs.
This was the main conclusion of the stakeholder meeting held in Rome on 26 November, on the eve of the joint FAO/WHO/OIE. Expert Consultation on Critically Important Antimicrobials.
“Risk management measures should be based on risk assessment”, stressed Essedine Boutrif (FAO), who chaired the meeting, while measures should only be taken after impact assessment on animal and human health. The stakeholders also identified a need for further data on the development of antimicrobial resistance and on its
effect on public health world-wide, taking into consideration that “transmission of antimicrobial resistance can go both ways”, from animals to people and vice versa. Furthermore, animal husbandry practices should be taken into account for a better understanding of the development of antimicrobial resistance in veterinary medicine.
The veterinary profession was represented by Herbert Schneider (Past-President World Veterinary Association and Chair of the OIE ad hoc group for antimicrobial resistance) and Jan Vaarten (FVE).
They emphasised the need for a broad range of veterinary products and stressed the role of the veterinary profession in the prudent use of veterinary medicinal products. They recommended co-ordinated programs to educate human and animal health professionals in this field. Monitoring and surveillance programs and further research on the mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance are basic elements for a rational and practical strategy.
The Expert consultation (26-30 November) considered the WHO and OIE lists of critically important antimicrobials in order to find an appropriate balance between animal health needs and public health considerations, taking into account the overlap of the two lists. OIE, through its ad hoc Group on antimicrobial resistance, had
organised a world-wide consultation and issued a list of antimicrobials of veterinary importance, adopted by the OIE General Session last May.

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