GLOBAL – The Codex Alimentarius Commission has onboarded new members from Bolivia, Cambodia, Colombia, and Nepal to its AMR Codex Texts (ACT) project to enable the countries to fight antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

 The veterinarians Jorge Berrios (Bolivia), Ana Carrizosa (Colombia), and Sakar Shivakoti (Nepal) have a wealth of knowledge in inter-institutional coordination and health management.

Pisey Oum (from Cambodia) lends his expertise in food safety, biotechnology, and biosafety to several UN entities.

“We need to know more in-depth about the current situation of the use of antimicrobials in Bolivia. This will allow us to plan better the actions in reducing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and create awareness, also strengthen national capacities to address AMR in the agriculture and food sectors,” said Jorge Berrios, National Coordinator in Bolivia, who previously worked as a National Head of Animal Health of the National Agricultural Health and Food Safety Service in the Bolivian government.  

Although Colombia is currently seen as a leader in the Andean area in the fight against AMR, there are still difficulties the nation has in putting the Codex standards and texts into practice, according to Ana Carrizosa, the project’s Coordinator in Colombia.

Carrizosa has been the Senior Specialist for FAO Colombia’s livestock sector programs for the past nine years. She has also been in charge of project development and implementation at the national level.

“Thanks to this project, food safety will be improved, and the export of agricultural products will be complying with Codex standards in Cambodia.

“Also, this project will help to reduce the number of deaths through awareness raising, improve laboratory capacity for detecting and performing surveillance on AMR, and level up the governance and accountability of any import and export procedures of agricultural products,” said Pisey Oum, National Coordinator in Cambodia, who has over 16 years of experience in coordinating various UN projects. 

Sakar Shivakoti from Nepal thinks that by utilizing the One Health strategy, the ACT initiative can increase cooperation among the major players in containing and decreasing foodborne antimicrobial resistance.

“The Government of Nepal has undertaken several measures to fight against the challenges of AMR in the country, however, we are hopeful that this project will allow us to enhance the national capacities and raise awareness,” added S. Shivakoti, who has invested his career in safeguarding animal and public health through his strong academic research background and inter-disciplinary coordination for community development. 

The Republic of Korea is supporting the new FAO project that aims to assist with the local and global implementation of Codex standards, particularly those that deal with containing and reducing foodborne AMR and monitoring and surveillance of antimicrobial use and resistance.

The project, put in place in 2016, will result in improved management of foodborne AMR in Bolivia, Cambodia, Colombia, and Nepal in addition to Mongolia and Pakistan.

It will also support more inclusive, secure, and effective food systems by enhancing consumer protection against the hazards of AMR and enhancing access to global markets.

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