Innovative FAO tool helps Tajikistan tackle antimicrobial resistance


DUSHANBE (TCA) — During a three-day workshop that began on July 1 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan becomes the first country in the Europe and Central Asia region to conduct pilot tests of a tool called the Progressive Management Pathway for antimicrobial resistance. The tool has been developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to assist countries in tackling antimicrobial resistance.

Antimicrobial resistance is one of the major threats faced by the global community. When a microorganism becomes resistant to medicines, the opportunities for treating diseases are reduced. Resistance to antimicrobial medicines threatens human, plant and animal health and damages food production and family livelihoods.

This practical self-assessment tool provides guidance for countries in developing and implementing a multi-sector “One Health” national action plan. The tool is in the testing phase and has been piloted in Belgium and Ghana.

Tajikistan’s national antimicrobial resistance action plan was developed in 2018 by Tajikistan’s Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Population, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security Committee.

During the workshop, a team comprising FAO experts and representatives of the government, private sector, civil society and international organizations will test the tool and evaluate the progress of the implementation of Tajikistan’s national action plan. Accomplishments, challenges and potential solutions for managing antimicrobial resistance in Tajikistan will be identified and discussed by experts from backgrounds that include human health, animal health, plant health and the environment.

“This workshop recognizes the need for coordinated and intensive efforts to overcome antimicrobial resistance,” said Oleg Guchgeldiyev, FAO Representative in Tajikistan. “We aim to develop competencies within the country, establish best practices for each sector, and help everyone understand the threat of antimicrobial resistance and the changes in behaviour that are required. Through this process there is the potential to foster sustainable food systems and farming practices that reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance and prevent the misuse of antibiotics.”

Recognizing that the health of humans, animals, plants and the environment are closely interconnected, the Progressive Management Pathway for antimicrobial resistance tool promotes a coordinated and multi-sectoral “One Health” approach in managing antimicrobial resistance. “One Health” emphasises that no sector can solve antimicrobial resistance by itself, that solutions must be sought through the close cooperation of the human health, animal health and agriculture sectors, among others.

“Given growing populations, the increased consumption of food of animal origin, and the increased imports and exports of food products, production methods should be changed,” Guchgeldiyev said. “This requires ever-more-efficient disease prevention and control systems.”

This initiative is supported by an FAO regional project, funded by the Russian Federation, to reduce the advance of antimicrobial resistance in food and agriculture. In addition to Tajikistan, the project aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Sergey Kwan