The Quadripartite partners consisting of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), in partnership with African Union agencies, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU IBAR) together with the Government of Zimbabwe, will this year host the continental celebration of the World Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Week (WAAW) 2023 in Harare, Zimbabwe.
This year’s theme is “Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together” which emphasizes the importance of collective action to address the global health challenge of antimicrobial resistance.
The WAAW week is an annual global event that aims to enhance awareness and understanding of the challenges posed by antimicrobial resistance while promoting best practices in antimicrobial stewardship across public health, animal health, and the environment.
The Quadripartite organizations and the Africa Union Task Force on AMR are working together in a One Health approach to organize this year’s event and translate the theme into action. These celebrations will involve the coordination of campaigns at both national and continental levels by engaging diverse stakeholders from around the world.
The continental event is scheduled to commence on 18 November 2023 and will bring together a wide array of important participants and stakeholder groups. These will include high-level policy and decision-makers of Member States, Regional Economic Communities, the One Health Community, development partners, private sector partners, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), civil society organizations, academia, research institutions, research centres and the general public.
Preventing antimicrobial resistance together
A high-level opening ceremony will be held on Monday, 20 November 2023, at the Harare International Convention Center (HICC) from 9.00am. The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development of Zimbabwe, H.E Hon Dr A.J Masuka will officially launch the week-long event. During the opening ceremony, the Government will also hold a signing ceremony for the Zimbabwe Antimicrobial Resistance National Action Plan (NAP). Other activities during the WAAW will include: media briefings and press conferences, a ‘world café’ debate on AMR and correct use , an engagement with high school students on AMR awareness including a mini football tournament, a high-level panel discussion on AMR’s environmental dimensions, policy dialogues on accelerating progress in African countries in the implementation of AMR National Action Plans, AMR One Health multisectoral collaboration and governance, AMR in aquaculture, and laboratory and field visits, including visiting the BOLAV Vaccine Production Unit, a BOLVAC Theileriosis Vaccination hotspot and a Farmer Field School farm.
WAAW serves as a platform for collaboration amongst stakeholders in the fight against the emergence and spread of AMR. It provides a valuable opportunity to enhance awareness and advocate for AMR risk mitigation efforts across sectors. This event also demonstrates continental unity and positions Africa as the leading region in combatting AMR while reinforcing critical messages to generate more collective policy guidance and support for the advancement of programmes aimed at reducing AMR risks.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of FAO Regional Office for Africa.