There is greater need to preserve power of antibiotics, says analyst
Jamaica will join other countries globally to observe World Antibiotic Awareness Week from November 13 to 19 under the theme 'Antibiotic, the End of an Era'.
Senior veterinary biochemical analyst at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Georgette Thompson said the focus is to raise awareness of the need to preserve the power of antibiotics through appropriate use and highlight the impact of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to food and animal industries and the health sector.
AMR is the ability of a microorganism such as bacteria, viruses, and some parasites to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antivirals, and antimalarial) from working against it. As a result, standard treatments become ineffective and infections persist and may spread to others.
The official launch of Antibiotic Week will be at the vice chancellery of the University of the West Indies (UWI) on November 14, starting at 10 a.m. Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton and Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Karl Samuda will be patrons at the event.
Following the launch, there will be a media and medicine forum.
"This session is to give media practitioners a session on how they report on issues of this nature. So special invitees from various media houses have been selected to attend the event," Thompson said.
On November 16, the ministry will host an Agriculture Day at Juci Verandah, Tollgate, Clarendon, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Veterinary Services Division and schools will be present to interact with the public and give one-on-one advice to farmers and other interested parties.
The following day, a breakfast session will be hosted for members of the business community at the Marriott Hotel in Kingston, starting at 8 a.m.
The week of activities culminates with the AMR Symposium at the Sir Kenneth Standard Lecture Theatre, Faculty of Medical Sciences at the UWI.
The ministry will be working in partnership with the World Health Organization, the World Organization for Animal Health, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and other stakeholders to execute the activities.
The senior veterinary biochemical analyst said that all plans are to ensure that stakeholders in the human, animal, and plant health sectors have a shared responsibility in preventing and minimising the effects of AMR in the country.