The American University of Beirut (AUB) in collaboration with the Lebanese Parliamentary Committee for Sustainable Development, chaired by parliament member Dr. Inaya Ezzedine, held its first workshop on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the poultry sector. In recognition of the rising health threats of AMR, Dr. Ezzedine brought stakeholders together in an effort to create synergy toward the betterment of public health. Dr. Ezzedine's role was instrumental in coordinating with Dr. Rabi Mohtar, Dean of Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS) at AUB, to voice this concern to Lebanon's policymakers. The workshop convened to discuss public health risks associated with the misuse of antibiotics, particularly Colistin; identify gaps in Lebanon's laws regarding this issue; and provide recommendations for future action plans and regulations.
During the workshop, Dr. Mohtar presented an overview of the Colistin Project and emphasized the importance of the safety of Lebanon's agricultural economy, noting: "It is vital to update the policies to control Colistin use, especially for animal growth promotion." As part of the Colistin Project's long-term goals, FAFS also plans to launch an AMR surveillance system and Colistin-related workshops in partnership with other universities and research centers.
Following the data provided in the workshop, it was agreed to establish a committee to follow up on these recommendations. The committee will comprise the members who worked on the Colistin Project, the chairman of the health committee, representatives from international organizations, including ESCWA, FAO, and the World Food Programme, a representative from the Lebanese customs department, and representatives from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Interior. Collaboration between universities and research centers will be established to form an awareness campaign to educate farmers about the dangers of using Colistin.