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29 Nov 2021

Irish government launches plan to tackle viruses and bacteria not responding to medicine

Irish government launches plan to tackle viruses and bacteria not responding to medicine

Irish government launches plan to tackle viruses and bacteria not responding to medicine

A national action plan on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been launched today. 

It's the second time such a plan has been released by the Irish government to tackle AMR, which occurs when viruses, bacteria and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicine. 

The plan aims to improve AMR awareness, enhance surveillance of antibiotic use and resistance, reduce the spread of infection and disease, optimise antibiotics use, promote research and investment in new medicines and other interventions. 

It was launched by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly and Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue, and coincides with European Antibiotic Awareness Day and the first day of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week. 

According to Minister Donnelly, the new plan (or iNAP2) will provide a "strategic roadmap" to address the worldwide challenge presented by AMR.   

He said, "Effective antimicrobial treatments are central to the delivery of modern healthcare." 

Minister McConalogue spoke about the "timely" release of the plan, particularly in relation to animal health and preventing disease to reduce the use of antibiotics and tackle AMR. 

He said, "Sustained optimal animal health is critical to the future profitability and sustainability of our farming and processing industries, and to the protection of public health and of our shared environment." 

Chief Nursing Officer at the Department of Health, Rachel Kenna, said patient safety is "at the heart" of iNAP2. 

She said, "The actions in the Plan will lead to improved patient care through the appropriate use of antimicrobials and best practice in infection prevention and control. Everybody has a role to play and iNAP2 will increase awareness and understanding, education and training, use of data and promote research and quality improvement." 

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week runs from today November 18th until November 24th.  

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