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PR No. 23 Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination drafts National Action Plan (NAP) to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in Pakistan Islamabad: March 3, 2017

AMR is a significant public health problem worldwide leading to significant morbidity and mortality. The emergence and spread of resistance among the bacteria is a complex phenomenon and hence requires multi-pronged approach to contain this phenomenon. In line with the five strategic objectives of the WHO Global Action Plan for AMR, a National Action Plan for AMR was developed through a consultative workshop at Islamabad from 27 Feb – 3rdMarch 2017. The workshop was attended by over 75 participants and technical experts representing health, agriculture, livestock, environment, academia, armed forces and private sectors.  During this dynamic consultation, the first draft of NAP was developed, which include key strategic priorities, operational plans and interventions and essential indicator of monitoring and evaluation framework. At the concluding session of the workshop, Dr. Muhammad Salman, National AMR focal person presented the key elements of the draft NAP highlighting the background, process of NAP development and salient features of strategic and operational plan along-with the monitoring evaluation framework and next steps. Dr Ali Mafi, the team lead from WHO EMRO shared his experience about the workshop and appreciated the commitment and  inputs of the participants. Dr. Muhammad Afzal representative of FAO appreciated the effort and highlighted the need of restricting the use of AMR in animal sector. He also emphasized the importance of AMR surveillance and implementation of Biorisk management in the livestock sector and need for rational use of antimicrobials. Director General Health Baluchistan Dr. Masood Nowsherwani appreciated the all-inclusive approach of the workshop. He stated that the NAP will help the provinces develop and implement their AMR action plans with support from MoNHSR&C and other partners. Representative of Sindh Health Department Dr. Qazi Mujtaba stated that the NAP will be beneficial towards control of AMR and assured support of the provincial government to take its implementation forward and develop a provincial action plan. He stressed that effective implementation and monitoring at district level is important towards success of the Action Plan.Dr. Qurban Ali, Director General NVL/Animal husbandry commissioner appreciated the commitment of the Ministry of NHSRC on successful completion of the workshop and achieving its objectives. He stressed that food security is compromised if it is not safe and human and animal health are closely intertwined. Antibiotics are prescribed indiscriminately in both human and animal health. On behalf of MoNFS and OIE he assured offull confidence, support and cooperation the MOH. WHO representative in Pakistan thanked MoNHSRC, NIH and the WHO staff in bringing together such a successful workshop. He requested that official nominations of animal national focal point and provincial AMR focal points must be expedited.  The session concluded with the remarks of Director General NHSRC, which highlighted the steps taken by the MoNHSRC, for addressing the issue of AMR.  He appreciated the commendable work done by the participants and experts in compiling the draft action plan. He also shared the future plans and informed the participants that the NAP will be presented by the Minster for NHSRC during the next world health assembly in May 2017.

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