Seminar held on "Management of Antimicrobial Resistance - One Health" (with photos)

     Around 200 stakeholders including experts, government representatives and academics today (November 2) attended a seminar on the management of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), taking the opportunity to exchange their experience and gain knowledge of international strategies and actions in containing the AMR problem.

     Entitled "Management of Antimicrobial Resistance - One Health", the seminar was jointly organised by the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health, the Centre for Food Safety of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.

     With an aim of raising community awareness to the threat that AMR imposes on public health, the seminar provided a platform for participants to grasp the latest situation of AMR under the "One Health" approach, to learn from overseas experts on their actions and measures, and to seek and discuss effective solutions to control antimicrobial use.

     Government representatives joining today's seminar included medical, veterinary, pharmacy, nursing and laboratory professionals as well as infection control personnel from public and private hospitals.

     Delivering welcoming remarks to participants, the Director of Health, Dr Constance Chan, underlined the consequences of resistance to antimicrobial medicines.

     Dr Chan said, "AMR is an important public health challenge which is threatening both human and animal health. It leads to prolonged illness and hospital stay, use of more aggressive treatment, increased deaths, loss of productivity, and increased healthcare and social costs.

     "The One Health approach is a major element of control and prevention strategies by international agencies. The rising threat of AMR should be addressed by a comprehensive framework adopting a multi-sectoral and whole-of-society approach. Different sectors including human and veterinary medicine, agriculture, food, environment and pharmaceutical industry as well as well-informed consumers should take collective actions."

     Dr Chan said that the Government's commitment in tackling the threat of AMR is demonstrated by the setting up of the High-level Steering Committee on AMR, which calls for collaboration, synergy and cross-fertilisation of all professional sectors under the "One Health" framework, and an Expert Committee formed under it which provides science-based advice.

     The Chairman of the Expert Committee on AMR, Professor Yuen Kwok-yung, delivered a keynote speech entitled "One Health approach in containing AMR - an overview in Hong Kong" at the seminar. Other presentation topics by members of the Expert Committee included:
  1. "Overview of AMR control measures and international actions" by overseas member Professor Peter Borriello;
  2. "United Nations AMR action plan, regulation, projects and activities" by Mainland member Dr Guo Fusheng;
  3. "Regulatory control of antimicrobial use in animals and animal husbandry in Mainland China" by Mainland member Dr Xu Shixin; and
  4. "AMR control from veterinary perspectives" by overseas member Professor Mary Barton.

     The Expert Committee on AMR comprises experts and academics from various fields including human and veterinary health and the agricultural sector. The Expert Committee convened its first meeting yesterday (November 1). Discussion items included principles and approaches to contain AMR in Hong Kong; overview of AMR in farm animals and food in Hong Kong; overview of AMR in community and healthcare settings in Hong Kong; and overview of AMR surveillance, health promotion, education and evaluation for the combat of AMR.

     The Expert Committee will continue to review the local situation in light of international practices, trends and developments, and advise the High-level Steering Committee on practical and scientific initiatives for formulating strategies and action plans against AMR.

Ends/Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Issued at HKT 11:45