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Public Health

2016 EU Health Award for NGOs

Rewarding the efforts and achievements of European NGOs towards reducing the threat to human health from antimicrobial resistance

In 2016, the European Commission’s EU Health Award recognises and rewards the efforts and achievements of European NGOs towards reducing the threat to human health from antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is one of the most challenging threats to human health. Each year, drug resistant infections result in an estimated 25,000 deaths and 1.5 billion euros in healthcare costs and productivity losses in the EU.

Through the EU Health Award, the European Commission aims to draw attention to outstanding good practices by NGOs to reduce the threat to human health from AMR and encourage their wider replication throughout the EU.

Making a difference in fighting AMR

There were 26 candidate NGOs which were considered for the prize, with applications coming from 10 different Member States. Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis announced the shortlisted NGOs' initiatives on European Antibiotics Awareness Day (EAAD) on November 18th, 2016. The EAAD aims to raise awareness about the threat to public health of antibiotic resistance and the importance of the proper use of antibiotics. The winners of the EU Health Award were announced on February 6th 2017 at the Horizon Prize and EU Health Award for NGOs joint ceremony in Leuven, Belgium, in presence of EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas and EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis.

Have a look at the ceremony pictures.


1st Prize

BEUC/The European Consumer Organisation

Campaign antibiotic resistance “From Farm to you”

BEUC has advocated for stronger rules regulating the use of antimicrobials in livestock to ensure they remain effective when needed, in both animal and human medicine. It raised awareness about the underlying causes of AMR to reverse the trend. BEUC’s actions include a position paper on antimicrobials use in livestock, discussions around the revision of the EU veterinary medicines and medicated feed laws, an awareness-raising infographic as well as a series of tests showing a high prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in raw meat products.

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2nd Prize

Alliance to Save our Antibiotics – Compassion in world Farming – Soil Association

Alliance to Save our Antibiotics

The Alliance to Save our Antibiotics is a coalition of 60+ EU-wide organisations, spanning health, medical, environmental, farming and animal welfare sectors. The Alliance campaigns against the overuse of antibiotics in livestock farming, and for a shift to welfare-oriented systems of rearing livestock - where the need for antibiotics is greatly reduced. The Alliance’s activities include scientific research and the publishing of peer-reviewed reports, policy advocacy and lobbying, public campaigning and media work, and solutions-facing work in partnership with the livestock and food retail sectors. The Alliance is calling for an end to the routine prophylactic mass-medication of groups of livestock, and for dramatic reductions to arm use of the ‘critically important’ antibiotics.

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3rd Prize

World Alliance Against Antibiotic Resistance WAAAR

Acting to preserve Antibiotics Initiative

The WAAAR has focused on intense lobbying and provoking awareness among all stakeholders as well as applying pressure on authorities to engage in appropriate action to limit the surge and spread of multi-drug resistant pathogens. While its primary focus was on antibiotic resistance its initiative also expanded to cover the prevention of Ebola as well as protection from AMR in the context of AIDS.

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The areas on which the call for proposals focused were the following:

1. Initiatives which contributed or are contributing to reducing the threat to human health from antimicrobial resistance within the European Union

2. Initiatives which focused on reducing the threat to human health in fields such as: prevention of infection, appropriate use of antimicrobials, surveillance, tackling AMR from a specific disease perspective (e.g. Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS…), and other initiatives that can reduce the threat to human health from AMR.

Shortlisted NGOs

Federation of Veterinarians of Europe

FVE's multi-annual strategy and actions to fight AMR

FVE has fought AMR in animals to reduce the risk for people to come in contact with resistant strains. It has promoted the responsible use of antimicrobials and their reduced use in to stakeholders and the general public. First signals for an actual decrease in antimicrobial resistance in animals are becoming visible.

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Health Care Without Harm Europe

Safer Pharma - reducing pharmaceutical pollution

For many years HCWH Europe has been working towards reducing the impact of pharmaceutical residues on the environment, for example by educating healthcare professionals on how to optimise their prescription behaviour. It has advocated for improving the environmental regulation of human medicines and contributed to the shaping of the new EU Pharmacovigilance Regulation. During its CleanMed Europe conference which took place in Copenhagen in October 2016, a number of parallel sessions on AMR and pharmaceuticals in the environment were held and stakeholders from a diverse range of backgrounds came together to discuss and plan for how the healthcare sector can tackle these global problems.

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French Veterinary Council

Ecoantibio Plan and building bridges between human health professionals and veterinarians

The French Veterinary Council is fully involved in the Ecoantibio Plan to reduce the risk associated with the use of antibiotics in veterinary medicine. The Plan intends to reduce the use of antibiotics in veterinary medicine by 25% in 5 years; as well as reducing the use of antibiotics for human medicine to treat animals by 25% in 3 years.

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Patients’ Organisations "Together with you"

Rational Antibiotic Use in Children: Common Mission of Doctors, Patients and Institutions

Patients’ Organisations With You discussed with politicians and institutions the training for doctors on when to prescribe antibiotics; what to prescribe; how to determine the dose; treatment duration; etc. It performed an analysis and participated in the training. On that basis and with the help of experts in the field of antimicrobial resistance it is drafting a National Programme for Proper Use of Antibiotics in Bulgaria.

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Stichting Huize Aarde

Green Healthcare Programme and its projects MEDUWA and SOSPharmaH

The activities of the Dutch foundation Huize Aarde focus on the design and application of new concepts, such as Green Healthcare/Hospitals/Chemistry/Pharmacy. The German/Dutch MEDUWA consortium develops a set of complementary measures to avoid or stop the spreading of multi antibiotic resistant bacteria through water, soil, food and air by human and veterinary health sectors and animal husbandry. The project SOSPHarmaH aims at reducing the emission of pharmaceuticals like antibiotics and multi-resistant bacteria/viruses by in- and outward patients.

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Read the full booklet of this edition