The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) have lit up their headquarters to raise awareness for World Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Week (November 18-24). 

As part of the ‘go blue’ campaign, APHA and the VMD have lit up their headquarters, which are on the same site in Weybridge, Surrey, with blue light.

Source: UK government

World AMR Awareness Week is a global campaign to raise awareness and understanding of AMR, and encourage responsible use of antimicrobials to avoid the emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.   

APHA chief executive, David Holdsworth said: “APHA has a long history of working on antimicrobial resistance in the animal health sector and has been partnering with the VMD for many years to tackle this important global challenge. 

“I am proud of our important work on this issue, and it is fantastic to see our flagship building lit up in blue as part of World AMR Awareness week to improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance.”  

VMD chief executive, Abi Seager, said: “VMD are pleased to be a part of this global initiative of ‘going blue’ to raise awareness of AMR to keep antibiotics working for future generations.

“We are delighted that our recent UK-VARSS report showed that antibiotic use in animals has reduced by 59% since 2014, accompanied by an overall decreasing trend of resistance.”

Antimicrobial resistance

AMR occurs when bacteria, and other microorganisms, develop a resistance to antimicrobial drugs, such as antibiotics, making them less responsive or unresponsive to treatment.

This means infections become difficult or impossible to treat, increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. 

APHA and the VMD said AMR is one of the greatest global human health challenges of this time, as well as affecting animal and plant health and spreading through the environment.

Head of AMR at the VMD, Kitty Healey, said: “AMR affects us all, and we must continue to work together to reduce its the development and spread.

“We all rely on antibiotics at some point in our lives, and it is our shared responsibility to look after these precious medicines.”