News Date: February 26 2016
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Feb 20, CMC – The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) says it has been conducting a series of technical missions in Jamaica, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Dominican Republic in order to provide knowledge on the use of antibiotics and antimicrobial agents in different animal production systems.
It said technicians and high-level personnel from the ministries of agriculture and health as well as the private sector of those countries have been involved in the programme that began in January.
The initiatives are part of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures Project, which is supported by the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) under the programme entitled “Support to the Caribbean Forum of the ACP States in the Implementation of the Commitments Undertaken under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA): Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures”.
It said this initiative was developed based on the specific needs identified by the region, with support from the Ohio State University (OSU) College of Veterinary Medicine.
“Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when, as a result of genetic changes, bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Salmonella, and Campylobacter develop resistance to medication that used to be effective in eliminating them, such as antibiotics,” said Robert Ahern, Leader of the Agricultural Health and Food Safety Programme at IICA.
As part of this effort, 27 professionals from the 15 Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) countries participated in a programme on antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance in agriculture last year that was specially designed for veterinarians, diagnosticians and other public health professionals in the Caribbean countries.