Department of Health of Ireland

11/18/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/18/2021 08:46

Minister for Health and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine jointly welcome Ireland's second One Health National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2021-2025 (iNAP2)

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, today welcome Ireland's second One Health National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) 2021-2025, known as iNAP2. This plan is the successor to Ireland's first National Action Plan on AMR 2017-2020 (iNAP1) and was developed jointly by the Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The publication of iNAP2 coincides with European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) and the first day of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW).

Minister Donnelly said:

"I am pleased to welcome the publication of this, Ireland's second One Health National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2021-2025 (iNAP2) which provides a strategic roadmap for continued action to address the serious global challenge presented by antimicrobial resistance. Effective antimicrobial treatments are central to the delivery of modern healthcare. iNAP2 strengthens Ireland's commitment to the international One Health approach for AMR and provides an ambitious framework for action to 2025 to drive change for our citizens."

Minister McConalogue added:

"Ireland has adopted a One Health approach to addressing the complex issue of AMR which recognises that human, animal and environmental health are all interdependent. The publication of Ireland's second One Health National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance is timely as the current global pandemic has placed One Health very much on the global agenda. Many of the animal health actions under iNAP2 relate to improving animal health, and preventing disease, recognising that these are key steps to reduce the use of antibiotics, and effectively tackle AMR. Sustained optimal animal health is critical to the future profitability and sustainability of our farming and processing industries, and to the protection of public health and of our shared environment."

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said:

"This is Ireland's second National Action Plan on AMR. It builds on our experience since 2017 on the implementation of the first Action Plan and has been developed using the One Health approach in conjunction with the animal health and environment sectors. This is important to ensure that Ireland's response is in keeping with the international approach. iNAP2 provides the framework to continue the positive cross-sectoral engagement and leadership into the future, as we all seek to tackle the evolving challenges of AMR and work together to protect antimicrobials for the future."

Dr Martin Blake, Chief Veterinary Officer, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine said:

"Ireland's Second National Action Plan on AMR sets out an ambitious roadmap for continued action to address the serious global public health threat of AMR building on the achievements of iNAP1 2017-2020. AMR remains a challenge not just for human health, but also animal health, food security and our shared environment. In recognition of the linkages between improved animal health and a reduced use of antimicrobials, my department has organised Animal Health Awareness Week (AHAW) 2021 to run in parallel with World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) from today Nov 18th to November 24th. I would urge all stakeholders to participate in the events which have been organized by my department to mark AHAW/WAAW in recognition that we all have a role to play in addressing AMR."

Rachel Kenna, Chief Nursing Officer, Department of Health added:

"A focus on patient safety is at the heart of this second National Action Plan. A guiding principle in the development and implementation of the Plan is a focus on people; both the patients and families that use our health and social care services every day, and the staff that provide them. The actions in the Plan will lead to improved patient care through the appropriate use of antimicrobials and best practice in infection prevention and control. Everybody has a role to play and iNAP2 will increase awareness and understanding, education and training, use of data and promote research and quality improvement. iNAP2 takes a person-centred approach aligning with the Sláintecare model of Right Care, Right Place, Right Time."

Both Ministers also acknowledged the work and involvement of all the stakeholders, both public and private, who made valuable contributions, and the members of the National Interdepartmental Antimicrobial Resistance Consultative Committee for their advice and guidance in relation to the development of the plan.

Both Ministers agreed that:

"The production of this action plan is another important milestone in Ireland's journey in combating AMR. That said the real work starts today as together we set about implementing this ambitious plan for our future, for our children's future and for all of society."


Further information on AMR and the iNAP2 publication is available on the joint AMR webpage:

National Action Plans on AMR

National Action Plans on AMR are an international commitment to Member States of both the European Commission and the World Health Organisation.

iNAP2 was developed following the WHO Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance. The plan contains a range of strategic interventions and activities across the human health, animal health and environmental sectors grouped under five strategic objectives aimed at:

  • improving awareness and knowledge of AMR
  • enhancing surveillance of antibiotic resistance and antibiotic use
  • reducing the spread of infection and disease
  • optimising the use of antibiotics in human and animal health
  • promoting research and sustainable investment in new medicines, diagnostic tools, vaccines and other interventions

What AMR is

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is resistance of a microorganism to a drug that was originally effective for treatment of infections caused by that microorganism. Resistant microorganisms (including bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites) are able to withstand attack by antimicrobial drugs, such as antibacterial drugs (for example, antibiotics), antifungals, antivirals, and antimalarials, so that standard treatments become ineffective and infections persist, increasing the risk of spread to others.

Antimicrobials are essential to the practice of modern medicine, enabling sophisticated medical interventions and treatments, such as chemotherapy and organ transplants.

What One Health is

The One Health concept is a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for humans, animals and the environment. Recognising that human health, animal health and ecosystem health are inextricably linked, One Health seeks to promote, improve and defend the health and well-being of all species by enhancing cooperation and collaboration between physicians, veterinarians, other scientific health and environmental professionals and by promoting strengths in leadership and management to achieve these goals.

There is international consensus through the One Health Initiative to which the WHO (World Health Organisation), FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) and the OIE (World Health Organisation for Animal Health) are signatories, that tackling the global public health threat of AMR requires action across human and animal health sectors, agriculture and the wider environment.

National Interdepartmental Antimicrobial Resistance Consultative Committee

At a national level the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) of the Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, respectively, established the National Interdepartmental Antimicrobial Resistance Consultative Committee. It was established in 2014. Committee membership consists of representatives of both departments, relevant HSE agencies, EPA, HPRA, FSAI and other key stakeholder groupings in the human and animal health sectors.

What European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) 2021 is

European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) is a European health initiative coordinated by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). It provides a platform and support for national campaigns on the prudent use of antibiotics in the EU/EEA and take place each year across Europe on 18 November. Further information:

What World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) is

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) is celebrated from 18-24 November every year. The 2021 theme, Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance, calls on One Health stakeholders, policymakers, health care providers, and the general public to be Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness champions. Further information: