FAO Nepal organized a day workshop on the implementation of Codex standards for foodborne antimicrobial resistance (AMR) under the project "Action to support the implementation of Codex AMR Texts (ACT)”. Collaborating with the government counterparts and key stakeholders, the workshop focused on the efforts, next priorities in the implementation of Codex standards globally and locally, especially those related to the containment and reduction of foodborne AMR and monitoring and surveillance of antimicrobial use and resistance.
Supported by the Republic of Korea, besides Nepal, this project will also lead to better management of foodborne AMR in Bolivia, Cambodia, Colombia, Mongolia and Pakistan. By improving access to international markets and protecting consumers against the risks of AMR, the project will contribute to more inclusive, safe and efficient food systems.
Sharing the remarks in the program Dr. Matina Joshi Vaidya, Director General from the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) lauded the dedicated campaign to raise awareness on the benefits of implementing Codex guidelines in lowering foodborne AMR is utmost. In order to properly execute the One Health strategy, we must have rigorous discussions among the major stakeholders resulting to reduce AMR, and strengthened monitoring and surveillance of antimicrobial use.
Dr. Hemant Chandra Ojha, a Representative from the Ministry of Health and Population emphasized in envisioning the priorities of the public health sector for planning the ACT project activities. He prioitized in close coordination and communication among the agencies synchronizing the national priorities of AMR.
“The workshop facilitated assessing the level of implementation of the Codex standards on foodborne AMR. The participants discussed the strengths and weaknesses in the current approaches, prioritized the next activities, identified the responsible stakeholders and suggested the timeline for completing these plans,” stated Sakar Shivakoti, the National Project Coordinator for the ACT project in Nepal.
The participants discussed the proposed methodology by filling out the questionnaire provided by FAO to assess the AMR activities in Nepal. The FAO team also visited the bacteriology laboratory at DFTQCwhere approximately 40-50 AMR tests were conducted per month on processed food samples. They discussed the need for both human and institutional capacity development to strengthen diagnostic testing for AMR. The workshop made it easier to explore the key priorities for the development of the ACT project's work plan over the next four years with special priority on awareness raising at every level. It focused on the training of laboratory technicians and increasing the number of samples submitted for AMR testing.
In addition to Nepal, this project supported by the Republic of Korea will improve the management of foodborne AMR in Bolivia, Cambodia, Colombia, Mongolia, and Pakistan by enhancing consumer access to global markets and defending them against the risks of AMR, through contribution to creating more inclusive, secure, and effective food systems.