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Danish antimicrobial surveillance model inspires in Asia

In their efforts to monitor and control antimicrobial use in humans and animals, Asian authorities have been learning from the experience gained by Danish experts at the Technical University of Denmark, DTU.

Antimicrobial resistance is one of the biggest threats to human health according to the World Health Organization. It is of vital importance that antimicrobial drugs are used correctly—and prudently—to ensure that they remain effective for treatment of illness.

A number of countries in Asia are in the process of establishing programmes to monitor antimicrobial use and the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance. Data from such programmes are useful in efforts to control antimicrobial use in both humans and animals. Many countries choose to use the Danish DANMAP-surveillance programme as a template for their own monitoring efforts.

During the past six months, experts from the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, have visited a number of Asian countries at the invitation of the relevant authorities to support setting up their integrated surveillance programmes for antimicrobial use and resistance.

Visits in Thailand, China and Hong Kong

One of the experts participated in an international expert group established by the Thai authorities to provide input into the Thai national plan for the surveillance and reduction of antimicrobial use in animals and resistance. During a visit to Bangkok, the expert group reviewed the plan, suggested how the authorities solve specific problems, provided input in relation to quality assurance of collected data and made recommendations regarding for the best possible way to implement the strategy.

At a workshop in Beijing arranged by the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment, the institute has provided a thorough overview of the structure of DANMAP as well as the methods used in the programme. Along with an expert from the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, the institute was also asked to propose solutions to various problems faced by Chinese organizations in their monitoring work.

Furthermore, the authorities in Hong Kong had invited the National Food Institute to participate in a symposium there to talk about DANMAP. The visit included technical workshops where DTU and the WHO spoke about the technical aspects of an integrated monitoring programme to those organizations in Hong Kong that are actively working to set up monitoring programmes in that part of the world.

Finally, the institute’s experts, director and other management are often invited to give presentations on the Danish experience of reducing antimicrobial resistance and establishing global monitoring of resistance at conferences around the world. Most recently, the institute gave presentations in Shanghai in November 2018 at China’s largest food security conference, CIFSQ 2018. The institute also gave a talk that same month in Beijing at a conference on antimicrobial resistance organized by the China Food Safety Authority.

Source: National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark