Communiqué for the 5th Africa Continental World Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Week 2023
Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together
We, the African Leadership of the:
- Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC)
- African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR)
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Regional Office for Africa
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Regional Office for Near East and North Africa
- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Regional Office for Africa
- World Health Organization (WHO), Regional Office for Africa
- World Health Organization (WHO), Regional Office for Eastern Mediterranean
- World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH), Regional Office for Africa
Have convened for the 5th Africa Continental World AMR Awareness Week (WAAW) 2023 to raise awareness, catalyse actions on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) governance, and assess progress in the region towards mitigating antimicrobial resistance.
NOTE that antimicrobial agents, including antibiotics, antifungals, antiparasitic, and antivirals have saved millions of lives globally and substantially reducing the burden of diseases in people, animals, and plants/crops, improving quality of life, contributing to better food security and safety, and enhancing life expectancy.
RECOGNISE that the emergence and spread of AMR in diverse microorganisms is reversing these benefits and further complicating the management of many infectious diseases.
EXPRESS our concern over AMR as a significant threat to human development and the fight against infectious diseases that also jeopardizes animal health and welfare and food production, and adversely affects the functioning of human, animal, and plant health systems and economies.
CONCERNED by uncontrolled antimicrobial overuse and misuse across the African Continent, including the inadequate use of antimicrobials and the use of falsified and proliferation of substandard and counterfeit medicines in the context of inadequate oversight on production, procurement, quality, and surveillance.
NOTE the importance of antimicrobials as front-line treatments in combating a host of diseases in humans, animals (terrestrial and aquatic) and plants/crops, while also supporting and enhancing agricultural and environmental practices to reduce the risk of disease transmission.
ACKNOWLEDGE that the lack of awareness of AMR continues to hamper efforts for transformational changes in practices, regulations, and oversight.
RECOGNISE that effective AMR governance is essential to promote sustainable actions which should include both proper institutional arrangements and strong societal demand from both public and private sectors for the successful governance of antimicrobials at both global and regional levels.
ACKNOWLEDGE that several promising first steps have been taken to strengthen AMR governance at global, regional, and national levels.
UNDERSCORE the importance of adopting a comprehensive and multisectoral “One Health’ approach to address the rising threat of AMR through integrated actions across human, animal (terrestrial and aquatic), plant/crop, and environmental health sectors.
RECALL the existing global and continental commitments including the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2015, Africa Common Position on Antimicrobial Resistance, Africa Union Framework for Antimicrobial Resistance Control, FAO's Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, and WOAH Strategy on Antimicrobial Resistance and the Prudent Use of Antimicrobials.
MINDFUL that tackling AMR is a crucial Sustainable Development Agenda issue and will be critical in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and improving food and nutrition security and livelihoods in Africa's predominantly farming-based economies.
We, the African Leadership of Africa CDC, AU-IBAR, FAO, WOAH, WHO, and UNEP, commit to:
- Strengthen and accelerate the implementation of previous commitments to tackle AMR including relevant resolutions of the governing bodies of the African Union (Africa CDC & AU-IBAR), the Quadripartite (FAO, UNEP, WHO and WOAH), and other relevant agencies, and AMR multisectoral national action plans.
- Advance political leadership at regional, national, and sub-national levels to ensure effective governance of AMR by supporting robust institutional arrangements in both public and private sectors by developing and enforcing appropriate regulatory frameworks.
- Foster the “One Health” approach through multisectoral and multidisciplinary coordination and collaboration leveraging our comparative mandates and strengths to effectively combat AMR.
- Continue to support African Member States to address the growing global threat of AMR through developing national multisectoral AMR action plans in line with the Global Plan of Action, with an emphasis on full funding, implementation, and evaluation.
- Develop and implement a comprehensive and coordinated regional advocacy and communications strategy to tackle AMR by increasing awareness, understanding, and encouraging behaviour change through sharing of best practices and scientific knowledge, with engagement with academia and research institutions, the private sector, civil society, and the media.
- Maintain and strengthen appropriate stewardship of antimicrobials, including through Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) biosecurity measures, and routine immunization. We will advocate for equitable access to vaccines to prevent infectious diseases.
- Maintain and strengthen good agricultural and food safety practices including safe processing, animal vaccination, and farm biosecurity; farm waste management and infection control.
- Integrate AMR considerations into all efforts and programs related to epidemic and pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, health systems strengthening, animal and environmental health, infection prevention and control, Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in sustainable food systems, food safety, and food security.
- Evaluate the implementation of these commitments to tackle AMR through ongoing work with the existing governance mechanisms of the African Union (Africa CDC & AU-IBAR), the Quadripartite (FAO, UNEP, WHO, and WOAH) and sharing of lessons learned, best practices, challenges, and opportunities.
Adopted on 24th November 2023 at Harare, Zimbabwe