Project targets antibiotic resistance
A partnership between an Australian-Government funded initiative to fight the rise of antibiotic resistance, Samoa’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (M.A.F.) and Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa (S.R.O.S.) will turn its attention to animal health.
The Australian project, known by its acronym COMBAT-AMR, is supported by the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security.
They work in partnership with Government committees against antibiotic overuse and their public health counterparts in Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
The project aims to implement capacity building and training activities to support the prevention, diagnosis, surveillance and management of Antimicrobial Resistance pathogens.
Antimicrobial resistance (A.M.R.), is the ability of microorganisms to resist being treated by antibiotic medicines, to which they have grown resistant from overuse, and poses a major and rapidly growing threat to national and global public health.
S.R.O.S. stated that it offers support and local expertise in conjunction with its collaborators.
“S.R.O.S. support will be focused on providing technical assistance towards building capacity for surveillance of antimicrobial resistant microorganisms in our livestock and animal health sector,” a statement from the organisation said.
The project will work in partnership with M.A.F. and S.R.O.S. to assess Samoa’s strengths and opportunities to improve its current practices in monitoring and controlling for antimicrobial resistance in animal health.
Incorrect use of antimicrobials in animals can encourage the emergence of antibiotic resistance within bacteria carried within these populations.
Once resistant, the bacteria has the ability to spread from farms to trade and food processing environments that intersect with people.
M.A.F. is the principal organisation in Samoa which works with commercial farmers, agri-processors, and exporters, including veterinary specialists and paravets to complete drenching activities for farmers.
Working in collaboration with the sector, M.A.F. will engage with the animal health sector to better understand resistance to commonly used antimicrobial agents.
Established in 2006, S.R.O.S. promotes scientific research and innovation in the health, environment, energy and agricultural sectors.
Findings from the project will be used to establish tailored training and mentorship programmes to address gaps in monitoring and controlling the risk of antimicrobial resistance in animal health.