Beehive, 27 April 2017
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Food Safety Minister David
Bennett have welcomed steps to enhance New Zealand's ability to
respond to the growing global issue of antimicrobial resistance
"Like other countries, New Zealand has seen a rise in antibiotic
resistant infections and it is important that we develop a clear
plan to reduce AMR," says Dr Coleman.
"Antimicrobial resistance occurs when microorganisms such
as bacteria and viruses change in ways that render the medications
used to cure the infections they cause ineffective.
"While resistance develops naturally, a range of initiatives
from everyday tasks such as hand hygiene through to education,
surveillance, and restrictions on prescriptions and the use of
antibiotics and antimicrobials will help prevent resistance."
As part of a global response the Ministries of Health and
Primary Industries have today jointly published 'Antimicrobial
Resistance: New Zealand's current situation and identified
areas for action' to respond to the changing pattern of
antimicrobial resistance in New Zealand.
The report highlights five key objectives which include improved
awareness, understanding, as well as prevention and control
measures. The report also highlighted the need for better data
about antibiotic consumption in New Zealand.
"As well as the health dimension, AMR is also a well-recognised
threat to veterinary and agricultural practice," says Mr
"Animal products generate around $24 billion per year in
exports, so this is a risk that our country must take seriously.
It's why these two ministries formed an AMR Action Planning Group
which produced this situation report.
"The report builds on work already undertaken by MPI and the
Ministry of Health to help manage the risks associated with
"Tackling AMR requires a one-team approach from a diverse group
of experts. It includes scientists, veterinarians, infectious
disease experts, microbiologists, GPs and specialist nurses."
The report is available on the Ministry of Health website,
The Antimicrobial Resistance has five key objectives:
- Improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial
- Strengthen the knowledge and evidence base about AMR through
research and surveillance.
- Improve infection prevention and control measures across human
health and animal care settings to prevent infection and the
transmission of micro-organisms
- Optimise the use of antimicrobial medicines in human, animal
and plant health.
- Establish and support clear governance, collaboration and
investment arrangements so that the approach to tackling AMR is