The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe, together with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Sub-Regional Representation for Central Asia have joined forces to call for a 'One Health' approach to be used in the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
The call to action, which coincides with World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2018, comes at a time when it is estimated that 700,000 people die each year from drug-resistant infections.
Under the One Health approach, professionals with a range of expertise in public health, animal health, plant health, food and the environment work together to minimise threats from AMR, and to gather evidence to identify and urgently address areas of highest risk.
In a joint statement, the three organisations praised those who avoid frequent use of critically important antibiotics, but said more efforts were needed to ensure prudent use of antimicrobials.
"We need to work together to ensure prudent use of antimicrobials when treating human and animal illnesses; now is the time to act to maintain our ability to cure humans and animals for generations to come," the organisations said.