Minister Fearne chosen to form part of experts’ group

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne has been chosen to form part of One Health Global Leaders Group, the government announced on Friday.

The international group issues guidelines and advice to health institutions around the world including the World Health Organisation, World Organisation for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

The role of the Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance will be to provide advocacy and advisory functions to ensure that action is taken to address the challenge of antimicrobial resistance.

It aims to advise global and national stakeholders to help control antimicrobial resistance, and advocate for more resources to be dedicated to controlling it. Membership will be 2-3 years long, with the possibility of a second 2-year term with agreement from the co-chairs and Secretariat.

The group is group is composed of former Heads of State or eminent individuals, current ministers across the One Health spectrum, the Directors Generals of WHO, FAO and OIE, the Head of UN Environment, the Head of World Bank, five representatives of civil society, private sector, research and academia and one to two globally prominent celebrities (logistic and resources permitting).

Minister Fearne is one of 26 individuals who have been appointed.

In a statement, Dr Fearne said that he is honored to be representing Malta on this expert group, highlighting that he would working in the interest of health of the people around the world.

Disease-causing microbes that are becoming resistant to common antimicrobials claim around 700,000 lives a year, according to the United Nations Interagency Coordination Group, which represents the World Health Organization, the Food and Agricultural Organization, and the World Organisation for Animal Health. Rising antimicrobial resistance is caused by misuse and overuse of antimicrobials in humans and plants, pouring pharmaceutical waste in water sources and poor infection control measures.