The Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Kailesh Kumar Singh Jagutpal, officially launched, yesterday at the Caudan Arts Centre in Port Louis, a workshop on Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR). The workshop, organised by his Ministry in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), aims at developing the National Action Plan on Anti-Microbial Resistance.
The WHO Representative in Mauritius, Dr Anne Marie Ancia, and other personalities were present on this occasion.
In his address, Minister Jagutpal highlighted that AMR is a global challenge that poses a significant threat to public health and development worldwide as it undermines the effectiveness of vital medicines, such as antibiotics, antivirals, and antifungals, that we have relied on for decades to treat infectious diseases. He pointed out that, if left unchecked, AMR could reverse medical advancements, increase healthcare costs, and eventually lead to a post-antibiotic era, where even minor infections could become life-threatening once again.
Mauritius, underlined Dr Jagutpal, has always been at the forefront of tackling public health challenges, and AMR is no exception. He stated that participants gathered for the workshop have a shared commitment to take decisive action against AMR and develop a robust National Action Plan that will guide each stakeholder’s efforts.
Furthermore, the Health Minister remarked that the fight against AMR does not only concern the health sector, but also agriculture, veterinary medicine, environmental agencies, and pharmaceutical industries. He thus observed that the National Action Plan must be ambitious, evidence-based, and adaptable to the changing landscape of AMR while encompassing the “One Health” approach which recognises the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health.
Dr Jagutpal moreover stressed on the need to promote responsible and judicious use of antimicrobials in human and animal health while enhancing infection prevention and control measures in healthcare settings and beyond. According to him, education and awareness campaigns will play a crucial role in empowering our citizens and healthcare professionals to understand and act upon the challenges posed by AMR.
Minister Jagutpal also emphasised that collaboration with local leaders, community health workers, and educators will be instrumental in reaching every corner of our nation and fostering a culture of responsible antimicrobial use. The National Action Plan on AMR will be a blueprint for safeguarding the health of our people and securing a healthier future for generations to come, he added.
For her part, Dr Ancia indicated that AMR is among the top 10 global threats, and is enhanced due to the misuse of antibiotics. She conceded that there is a lack of knowledge among members of the public as far as AMR is concerned. The WHO Representative also dwelt on the need to change our approach to antibiotics.