The pioneering work of a Welsh programme designed to help combat antibiotic resistance was recognised recently at the prestigious Antibiotic Guardian 2022 Shared Learning & Awards.
Arwain DGC (Defnydd Gwrthficrobaidd Cyfrifol / Responsible Antimicrobial Use) works to help vets, farmers and horse owners to address the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in animals and the environment in Wales by reducing the need to use antibiotics.
The programme works in partnership with key *Welsh agricultural stakeholders, veterinary delivery partners, and academic institutions to highlight the issue of AMR. Through training, applying new technology, data gathering, and improving understanding, the programme encourages and demonstrates ways to reduce the need to use antibiotics and the risk of AMR developing.
The Antibiotic Guardian 2022 Awards champions organisations and individuals who have ‘demonstrated achievements in tackling antimicrobial resistance at a local, regional, or national level.’
Previous winners have included companies and organisations including Bristol Veterinary School, RUMA (Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance), Kite Consulting, NHS Grampian, Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, North Park Veterinary Group Ltd, Healthcare Communications and Social Media South Africa, and Boots UK Ltd.
AMR is classed as a global ‘One Health” challenge, and there are calls for urgent multisectoral action. AMR has been described by The World Health Organisation as an issue where “without urgent action, we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries can once again kill.”
Launched in 2014, the One Health Antibiotic Guardian Campaign started as an online action-based pledge system to increase engagement in tackling AMR through improving knowledge and changing behaviour across human and animal health.
The Antibiotic Guardian 2022 finalists were announced last November during World Antimicrobial Awareness Week. Arwain DGC was shortlisted in three categories – ‘Animal Health, Agriculture & Food Supply’, ‘Community Communication’, and ‘Prescribing & Stewardship’.
The awards ceremony was held last night (Tuesday, May 2nd) at the Holiday Inn in Bloomsbury, London, with an international audience drawn from across the world of health and academia.
Arwain DGC was named overall winner of the ‘Prescribing & Stewardship’ category and was highly commended in the ‘Community Communication’ category.
Dewi Hughes, Menter a Busnes Animal Health Services Manager and Arwain DGC programme manager, said,
“We are absolutely delighted and incredibly proud that Arwain DGC’s work has been recognised among such strong entries from both the animal and human sectors – which demonstrates how important reducing AMR is to One Health.
“These awards are testament to the commitment and skill of Arwain DGC’s programme partners in the agricultural industry and academia and demonstrates the work they have undertaken to challenge AMR in livestock and the environment in Wales.
“Several of the programme’s work streams have already yielded important new knowledge of AMR development and spread and revealed – often simple – practices to prevent disease and the need to use antibiotics.”
Arwain DGC is closely aligned to the Welsh Government’s five-year AMR in Animals and the Environment Implementation Plan (2019 – 2024). The Arwain DGC programme has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.