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5 September 2017
Antimicrobial Resistance  

Hong Kong Strategy and Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance
 
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) happens when microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites, resist previously effective antimicrobials. It is considered one of the greatest threats to global health and economy.
 
Antibiotics are medications used for treating bacterial infection. When antibiotics wipe out disease-causing bacteria in our body, normal bacteria are also killed, thereby increasing the opportunity for resistant bacteria to grow and multiply. These resistant bacteria are sometimes referred to as ‘superbugs’. Some superbugs are capable of resisting more than one antibiotic and such infections are difficult to treat. Although there may be alternative antibiotics available, they may be less effective or cause more side effects. If the problem of AMR does not improve, there would be fewer effective treatment options.
 
In view of the threat of AMR to global public health, the Government announced in the 2016 Policy Address to set up a High Level Steering Committee on AMR (HLSC) to formulate strategies and implement actions. Chaired by the Secretary for Food and Health, HLSC comprises representatives from relevant Government departments, public and private hospitals, healthcare organisations, academia and relevant professional bodies. Under a One Health framework, the HLSC has considered the recommendations proposed by the Expert Committee on AMR and has taken human health, animal health and environment fronts into consideration in formulating the holistic Hong Kong Strategy and Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (2017-2022)  (Action Plan).
 
To address the issue, actions taken by the healthcare sector alone are not enough and concerted efforts from the general public are crucial.
 
What I can do to combat AMR? 

 
Practise frequent hand hygiene, especially before eating and taking medicine, and after going to toilet Do not demand antibiotics from your doctor Follow your doctor's advice when taking antibiotics
Practise frequent hand hygiene,
especially before eating
and taking medicine,
and after going to the toilet

Do not demand antibiotics
from your doctor

Follow your doctor’s advice
when taking antibiotics
 
Do not stop taking antibiotics by yourselves even if you are feeling better Ensure that vaccinations of you and your family members are up-to-date Maintain cough etiquette, wear a mask if you have respiratory infection symptoms
Do not stop taking antibiotics
by yourselves 
even if
you are feeling better
Ensure that vaccinations of you and your family members are up-to-date

Maintain cough etiquette, wear a mask if you have respiratory symptoms

 

Details

 

Strategic Framework

The World Health Organization (WHO) and WHO Regional Office for Western Pacific issued the ‘Global Action Plan on AMR’ and the ‘Action Agenda for AMR in Western Pacific Region’ respectively in 2015. Both documents emphasized the importance of adopting the One Health framework in formulating and implementing strategies to combat AMR.

The One Health concept stresses that the rising threat of AMR should be addressed by a comprehensive framework adopting a mutli-sectoral and whole-of-society approach. It calls for collaborative actions to be taken by different sectors, including human and veterinary medicine, agriculture, food, environment, pharmaceutical industry and consumers.

In view of the threat of AMR to global public health, the Government announced in the 2016 Policy Address to set up a High Level Steering Committee on AMR (HLSC) to formulate strategies and implement actions. Chaired by the Secretary for Food and Health, HLSC comprises representatives from relevant Government departments, public and private hospitals, healthcare organisations, academia and relevant professional bodies. Under a One Health framework, the HLSC has considered the recommendations proposed by the Expert Committee on AMR and has taken human health, animal health and environment fronts into consideration in formulating the holistic Hong Kong Strategy and Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (2017-2022)  (Action Plan), which proposed recommendations in six key areas as follows:

  1. Strengthen knowledge through surveillance and research;
  2. Optimise use of antimicrobials in humans and animals;
  3. Reduce incidence of infection through effective sanitation, hygiene and preventive measures;
  4. Improve awareness and understanding of AMR through effective communication, education and training;
  5. Promote research on AMR; and
  6. Strengthen partnerships and foster engagement of relevant stakeholders.
 

About Antimicrobial Resistance

 

For General Public

 

For Healthcare Workers

  • What can health care workers do to combat AMR?
    • Only prescribe antibiotics when they are needed
    • Perform good infection control measures, practise frequent hand hygiene
    • Remind patients to take antibiotics at the right time and with the right dose
    • Remind patients to maintain personal hygiene
    • Receive seasonal influenza vaccine
  • Guidelines and Resources
  • 'I-pledge' online registration for responsible use of antibiotics
 

Publications

 

Press Releases

 

Activities to Combat AMR

 

Health Education Materials

 

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