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Hong Kong Strategy and Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (2017-2022) launched
     The Government today (July 10) launched the Hong Kong Strategy and Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (2017-2022) to outline key areas, objectives and actions to contain the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Hong Kong.

     "Endorsed by the High Level Steering Committee on AMR (Steering Committee) chaired by the Secretary for Food and Health, the Action Plan adopts a 'One Health' approach as recommended by international health agencies and focuses on resistance in bacteria that present an urgent and serious threat to public health. The rising threat of AMR should be addressed by a comprehensive framework taking a multi-sectoral and whole-of-society approach as resistant bacteria arising either in humans or animals may spread from one sector to another," a Government spokesman said.

     The Action Plan identifies six key areas to slow the emergence of AMR and prevent its spread. After consulting stakeholders across sectors, disciplines and organisations, and soliciting their support for implementation, a total of 19 objectives with detailed actions are recommended as follows:

1. Strengthen knowledge through surveillance and research
  • Set up an AMR surveillance system under "One Health" for Hong Kong;
  • Build laboratory capacity to support surveillance activities in both human and animal sectors;
  • Monitor antimicrobial use in humans and animals;

2. Optimise use of antimicrobials in humans and animals
  • Strengthen regulation on over-the-counter purchase of prescription-only antimicrobials;
  • Implement and enhance training in prescribing antimicrobials through Antibiotic Stewardship Programme in the human health sector;
  • Monitor compliance with antibiotic prescription guidelines of human health practitioners;
  • Ensure proper use of antimicrobials in animals;

3. Reduce incidence of infection through effective sanitation, hygiene and preventive measures
  • Strengthen infection prevention and control measures in healthcare settings;
  • Strengthen infection control training for healthcare workers;
  • Develop and strengthen infection prevention and control programmes in veterinary settings and along the food supply chain;
  • Enhance vaccination uptake;

4. Improve awareness and understanding of AMR through effective communication, education and training
  • Raise awareness of AMR among the general public, students and the target population;
  • Engage patients in adopting infection control measures and proper use of antibiotics;
  • Include AMR and related topics in school curricula and in the continuous training of human health and veterinary professionals;

5. Promote research on AMR
  • Promote research on innovative technology and medical science;
  • Promote research on behavioural science and psychology;
  • Promote research on health and economic burden;

6. Strengthen partnerships and foster engagement of relevant stakeholders
  • Strengthen international partnerships and regional collaboration; and
  • Inform public policy and facilitate stakeholder engagement.

     "The Action Plan provides guidance not only for public health and veterinary partners, but also to co-ordinate efforts from all sectors of the community," the spokesman said.

     Relevant bureaux/departments and organisations including the Food and Health Bureau, the Department of Health (DH), the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and the Hospital Authority will continue to keep abreast of international and local developments and closely work with private hospitals, professional bodies, the academia and other partners in implementing the actions in phases in combating the challenge of AMR.

     "The Steering Committee will conduct mid-term and final reviews on the actions proposed within the five-year period of the Action Plan. Subject to the development of AMR in Hong Kong, actions may be revised or added if necessary to tailor the latest local needs," the spokesman added.

     The full text of the Action Plan and health education materials on AMR have been uploaded to the thematic website on AMR of the Centre for Health Protection of the DH.
Ends/Monday, July 10, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:00
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