For immediate release

Atlantic Health Organizations Meet to Address Antimicrobial Stewardship in Halifax

June 8, 2017 (Halifax) – The National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCCID) and the Public Health Agency of Canada are pleased to greet representatives from across the Atlantic provinces today to discuss strategies for improving the use of antimicrobials such as antibiotics.

Physicians, pharmacists and public health staff will share information on successes and challenges in ensuring appropriate use of antibiotics and helping to reduce resistance to life-saving treatments. “We are really pleased to be part of the growing interest and momentum in effective and appropriate use of antimicrobials,” said Yoav Keynan, co-Scientific Director at the NCCID. “This event builds upon work we have been engaged in across the country for over a year. The Atlantic Region in particular has a strong role to play in leading the way for other parts of Canada.”

Antimicrobial resistance has been in the news more and more and is considered a significant threat to human health by the World Health Organization. It has been estimated that by 2050, annual deaths due to AMR could reach 10 million worldwide, overtaking deaths due to diabetes and cancer combined. And AMR is not just a human health threat; it is a complex issue that has animal, agricultural, environmental and economic implications.

Antimicrobial stewardship involves systems-wide organization and approaches to monitoring the most effective use of antimicrobials drugs, and promoting their appropriate use according to national and international guidelines. It is one of four pillars of the Government of Canada’s Federal Framework for Action on AMR, which identifies AMS as conserving the effectiveness of existing treatments through infection prevention and control guidelines, education and awareness, regulations, and oversight.

“The groundwork has been laid and there is considerable expertise in this country. Now our task is to reinforce and support AMS programs locally so that patients, practitioners and policy-makers are committed and involved”, said Margaret Haworth-Brockman, Senior Program Manager at the NCCID.

For more information on AMR and AMS, and to find additional resources, please contact NCCID at nccid@umanitoba.ca or 1-204-318-2591.