Centre provides policy advice to low and middle income countries
A centre that helps low and middle-income countries tackle the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been awarded official designation by the United Nations (UN).
Launched in 2018, the UK International Reference Centre for AMR supports several countries, including Bangladesh and Ghana, to improve their laboratory and surveillance capacity.
Christine Middlemiss, UK chief veterinary officer said: “I congratulate the UK International Reference Centre for AMR and warmly welcome the recognition of its expertise by the United Nations.
“Enhancing global capability in reducing the use of antimicrobials and tackling the threat of AMR will be an important objective of the deep experience and expertise the collaborating agencies will provide.”
The centre brings together expertise from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). In addition to providing policy advice, it also provides field and technical support with a ‘One Health’ approach.
Since it was established, the centre has built strong working relationships with academic institutes and countries across the world. It also works in tandem with Public Health England through the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference & Research on AMR and Healthcare-Associated Infections.
The Centre is funded by Defra and has received support from the Department for Health and Social Care through UK aid programme, the Fleming Fund.
Defra biosecurity minister Lord Gardiner, said: “This is fantastic news for the UK International Reference Centre and recognises the excellent work it delivers in tackling AMR, as well as extending the UK’s international reach.
“This work is vital to tackle the threat AMR poses to the global economy and society. The UK recognises AMR as a priority issue and we know that this challenge requires truly global collaboration.
A spokesperson for the centre added: “The designation of the UK International Reference Centre by the FAO underscores the importance of tackling AMR using a ‘One Health’ approach given the interdependence of human, animals and the environment. We look forward to our continued partnerships with FAO and nations around the world to address the unique threat posed by AMR.”