MAF launches Samoa Antimicrobial Prescribing Guidelines

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The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) through the Animal Production and Health Division (APHD/Livestock) received the first of its kind “Samoa Antimicrobial Prescribing Guidelines” as a result of the close collaboration with COMBAT AMR Project funded under DFAT – AUSAID.

The Combat AMR project focused on addressing Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and specifically from the Animal Production and Health Division (APHD) as well as the Animal Protection Society (APS) with regard to the use of antimicrobials in treating sick animals.

Antimicrobial use is well-documented in agricultural practices. They are important in treating diseases of food-producing animals both aquatic and terrestrial as well as plants to ensure food security.

Such medicines are so vital in these areas but global misuse over the years has resulted in the phenomenon we now call ‘Antimicrobial Resistance’ or AMR. It is projected that over the years there is a growing demand for animal-source food and agri products that the demand for antimicrobial use is also expected to grow.

In such knowledge, it is ever so important now to form collaborations with experts in these areas especially veterinarians to develop programs or work plans to address such issues of overuse and misuse of antimicrobials via an “Antimicrobial Stewardship Program”.

With the biggest challenge of not having a Government Veterinarian, the responsibilities for animal health are handled by para-veterinarian.

The guidelines produced under the COMBAT AMR is an excellent outcome that will assist the ministry in treating animals and reducing potential AMR risks for Samoa from the Animal Health Sector.