#Jamaica, November 9, 2017 – Kingston – 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’.
Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’, today (November 8), 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, animal and the health sector.
She explained that AMR is the ability of a microorganism, such as bacteria, virus and some parasites, to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarial) from working against it. As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others.
Miss Thompson said the week’s activities will start with a church service on November 12 at the St. Margaret United Church, Liguanea, beginning at 8:00 a.m. Another activity will be the official launch of Antibiotic Week at the Vice Chancellery of the University of the West Indies on November 14 starting at 10:00 a.m.
Miss Thompson noted that the Minster of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, and the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, will be patrons at the event. Following the launch, Miss Thompson said there will be a session called 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,” she said.
On Thursday, November 16, the Ministry will host an Agriculture Day, at Juci Verandah, Tollgate, Clarendon, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 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. On Friday, November 17, a breakfast session will be hosted for members of the business community at the Marriott Hotel in Kingston starting at 8:00 a.m.
Miss Thompson said the event is to engage the business sector and to update them on the impact of AMR on health and the country. The week of activities culminate with the AMR Symposium at the Sir Kenneth Standard Lecture Theatre, faculty of Medical Science, at the UWI.
Miss Thompson said 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 explained 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.