The EU Dutch Presidency has organised a Ministerial Conference on Antibiotic Resistance on 9 and 10 February on antibiotic resistance. Was attended by the health ministers of the EU and the EEA (European Economic Area) who gathered in Amsterdam to the Marine Etablissement Amsterdam (MEA), together with the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety vytenis andriukaitis and the Secretary General WHO, Dr. Margaret Chan.
The purpose of the conference was to emphasize the need for an approach "One Health", which brings together both human health and animal, in order to tackle the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance, which, in Europe alone, is responsible for 25 000 dead and that is costing Europe € 1.5 billion in additional health care costs and other economic implications.
The superbugs in question have become resistant to several types of antibiotics and are more likely to develop when antibiotics are not used properly, such as when patients do not complete the full course of antibiotics or when given to animals in advance to prevent the illness. These superbugs become difficult to treat, they can get to put a person's life in danger.
These bacteria may be contracted by direct contact, in the hospital or by eating infected food, such as a not well cooked slice of meat from an infected animal.
At the moment it is already running an action plan that in 2011 the EU Commission launched to protect both human health and animal qualla. The action plan has gone through a period of five years and will end in 2016. An evaluation of the action plan the Commission is currently underway and preliminary findings are already available. This assessment was part of the Commission's contribution to the discussions during the Ministerial Conference.
The One Health approach proposed recognizes the link between the health of human beings, the animals and the environment and provides for: