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Antimicrobial agents are medicines used to treat infections, particularly those of bacterial origin. These medicines are essential to protect human and animal health, as well as animal welfare. Excessive or inappropriate use can lead to the emergence of resistant bacteria which do not respond to antibiotic treatment, as seen in recent decades. This phenomenon, called antimicrobial resistance, which poses a threat to disease control throughout the world, is a primary concern for human and animal health.
It is by ensuring the responsible and prudent use of these invaluable medicines in animals, in accordance with the intergovernmental standards of the OIE that we will be able to safeguard their efficacy.
To achieve this, coordinated action between the human and animal health and environmental sectors is crucial.
Veterinarians are part of the solution; but they must be well trained and well supervised by the statutory veterinary bodies created by law.
Antimicrobial agents are a global public good.
We each have a role to play in the fight against antimicrobial resistance and, in so doing, can protect the efficacy of these vital treatments and, by the same token, our future.
The goal of this week is to raise awareness of the health risks posed by antibiotic resistance and to promote good practice in this area of concern, to limit the emergence and spread of resistant bacteria throughout the world.