DILI, 14 december 2021 (TATOLI) – The Ministry of Health (MoH) and Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF), together with Menzies – School of Health Research held a one-day symposium, in Timor-Leste, to bring together relevant parties to share their research and explore current issues and themes impacting the health of animals, people, plants and the environment.

Timor-Leste’s first “One Health” Symposium’s theme is “One Health: Environment, Zoonoses and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).”

One of the main speakers of the symposium, the National Director of Pharmacy and Medicines of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Alipio Gusmão Lopes, said that One Health Symposium is important to share information on unexpected consequences of the connections between human, animal, and environmental health, while exploring the impact of emerging disease on communities and individuals.

“If we address the health issues in Timor-Leste through One Health Approach, of course, it will support Timor-Leste’s public health. Therefore, the One Health Approach is crucial for us to address shared health threats such as zoonotic diseases, antimicrobial resistance, food safety, and others. So, it is good for our health (human), animal, and the environment,” Lopes made the comments at the one-day symposium, at Hotel Timor, in Dili, today.

He said the National Directorate of Pharmacy and Medicines (DNFM) had prepared its National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) to be implemented next year.

“You know 60 percent of all human diseases originate in animals, including pigs, buffalos, chicken, and etcetera, saying, therefore, One Health Approach is important to improving coordination, collaboration and communication at the human-animal-environment interface to address the aforementioned shared health threats.”

At the same place, the National Director of Livestock and Veterinary Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. Joanita Costa Jong said that it is important to raise the awareness of the public on AMR.

“MAP is committed to working with Menzies- School of Health Research and other development partners, international agencies, and relevant ministries to address the health threats such as zoonotic diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and so on.

WHO has declared that AMR is one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity.

“Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health and development threat. It requires urgent multi-sectoral action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said in WHO’s website.

By 2050, AMR is estimated to lead to 10 million deaths per year and lost outputs worth US$100 trillion across the world.

One Health is a collaborative, multi-sectoral, and trans-disciplinary approach — working at the local, regional, national, and global levels — to achieve optimal health outcomes recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.

Veterinarians, physicians, public health officials, university students, and staff participated in the event.

Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges Rosario

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