Sensitization workshop on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and Fleming Fund Project Activities

The antibiotics have saved millions of lives since
they were first discovered. In animals,
we use antibiotics for improving welfare and for enhancing the production. However,
the indiscriminate use of these antibiotics has led to emergence of resistant
bacteria in which antibiotics no longer work also known as antimicrobial
resistance (AMR). The UK Government has established the Fleming Fund to respond
to the global threat of drug-resistant infections. The Fleming Fund is critical
to achieving the resolution of the 68th World Health Assembly, 2015 (WHA
A68/20); 84th World Animal Health Assembly (WAHA 2016); and in
realising the ‘Political Declaration of the High-Level Meeting of the United
Nation General Assembly (UNGA) on Antimicrobial Resistance, 2016’. The overall goal of the grant is to
avert the human and economic burden of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Bhutan is
one of the recipients of Fleming
Fund Country Grants to improve the diagnosis and surveillance of AMR in both
human health and the animal health sector thereby to inform policy and practices
at national and international levels. The human health component implemented by
Department of Medical Services which benefits five laboratories (surveillance
sites) and animal health component is implemented by the Department of Livestock
with four laboratories benefitting (National Centre for Animal Health, National
Food Testing Laboratory and two Regional Livestock Development Centres
Tsimasham and Kanglung).

In addition to the country grant, the Fleming Fund also supports Fleming Fellowship Scheme to provide continuing professional development and leadership training opportunities for relevant fellows.  Seven Fleming Fellowships were provided to Bhutan out of which three are for the animal health.

The inception phase of the project (Country
Grant) was implemented from April 2019 to November 2019 where the
infrastructure development and other preparatory works were carried out in the beneficiary
laboratories. Following the finalization of Detail Technical Implementation
Plan (DTIP) in December 2019, one-day sensitization workshop was conducted on 3rd
January 2020 at Royal Thimphu College to inform all the stakeholders on
activities that shall be implemented through 18 months period. The meeting is
expected to enhance co-ordination and collaboration among the various
stakeholder including the policy makers.

Dr. Tashi Samdup, Director General of Department of Livestock graced the opening ceremony as Chief Guest. About 31 participants including the representatives from the Fleming Fund Project Implementation Unit, Department of Medical Services, Department of Livestock (Animal Health Division, National Centre for Animal Health, National Veterinary Hospital, Regional Livestock Development centres) and Bhutan Agriculture & Food Regulatory Authority attended the one-day sensitization workshop.

Submitted By: Dr. N.K Thapa (NCAH, Serbithang)