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World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, taking place each November 18–24, delivers information of the ongoing silent pandemic of drug-resistant infections. The campaign, organized by the World Health Organization WHO, reaches out to One Health stakeholders, policymakers, health care providers, and the general public in order to promote the prudent and responsible use of antimicrobial drugs. In 2021, the slogan of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week is “Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance”.

In his opening talk to this year’s campaign, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of WHO, emphasized that anyone can encounter a drug-resistant infection with lifelong or even fatal consequences. He stated that effective antimicrobials are the backbone of modern medicine, and that the overuse and misuse of antimicrobials are the main drivers of antimicrobial resistance, which is now an “urgent global health challenge”. He encouraged everyone to take action and help share the message, in order to keep the drugs working.  

The World Antimicrobial Awareness Week is a campaign well needed. It is an unfortunate fact that even today, more antibiotics are consumed by farm animals than humans. The request by WHO, asking to save the medically critical antimicrobials to human usage only, has not yet been fulfilled. But the situation can be improved. The Finnish example has proven that with careful biosecurity practices and optimal feeding, animal farming is fully possible without antibiotic growth promoters. 

At Hankkija FFI, as international players of animal feed business, we recognize our responsibility in spreading the antimicrobial awareness. In our scientific presentations and commercial materials we share information on how human, animal, and environmental health are all interconnected. More importantly, the One Health -concept and reduction of antimicrobials in animal farming have been the key drivers of our R&D program for three decades, and the work continues.

Our feed innovations Progres® and Progut® are especially suitable for antibiotic free -feeding programs with their scientifically proven ability to support intestinal balance and productivity of farm animals. The resin acid -based Progres® reduces inflammation-associated degradation of intestinal wall, thus supporting gut barrier functions and allowing an undisturbed nutrient uptake. The yeast hydrolysate Progut® binds pathogenic bacteria and gives a safe stimulus for a rapid immunological maturation of young animals.     Hankkija FFI wishes a successful international World Antimicrobial Awareness Week for all parties of the campaign! Please contact your local Progres® and Progut® distributor for more information on these feed innovations from Finland.