Posted by Ian FAIRNIE
Most members of Applecross Rotary are now familiar with the term “AntiMicrobial Resistance” (AMR), due to the frequent updates from President-Elect Barry, with strong support from Tim Inglis and Jarrad Hall.  We sometimes read the term “untreatable infection”, and certainly Vice-President Hamish knows all about that and lived to tell the tale.  And it seems that this was also the immediate cause of David Donaldson’s death, although David had been in general poor health for some time.
However Mark Schipp and Colin Hughes turned up the TAKE ACTION NOW dial with their presentations to a large number of Rotarians and guests at the Crown Atrium this week.
And why was a vet speaking to us?
Because most antibiotics are used in animal industries and AMR may be transmitted through food.  This is now being referred to as a One Health issue
One Health recognises the interconnectedness of human, animal and environmental health.
Here is the key graphic
Australians are over-using antibiotics in human health, being Australia the 11th highest user of antibiotics out of 31 OECD countries.  In 2015, more than 30 million antibiotic scripts were provided through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Fortunately Mark assured us that in Canberra he and the Chief Medical Officer work together ensuring a One Health approach to addressing AMR and very importantly our food industry works closely with them, unlike many other parts of the world.  This in itself poses a risk to Australia as we import a lot of food, but Mark’s position as President of the World Animal Health Association helps him keep informed of One Health issues that put our health at risk.
Colin Hughes added some other commentary that supported everything our Club is doing regarding AMR, and commended the work being done by a spin-off group from Applecross Rotary, AMR AWARE (Inc.).  Colin’s enthusiasm for success in raising awareness of AMR though Rotary has resulted in him proposing to change the Four Way Test into the Five Way Test: 
  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
  5. Does it conserve and improve the health of the planet, its environment and people?
Honorary Member Dr Chris Back drew the discussion to a close by reminding those attending of the calibre of the speakers that had been assembled: Colin Hughes is a former Director of Public Health in WA, Mark Schipp is a world leader in animal health, and Professor John Edwards, former Dean of the Veterinary School at Murdoch University who chaired the presentations, is a senior UN consultant, and One Health expert.