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Global AMR project to improve veterinary instruction programs

MSD Animal Health teams with AAVMC on grant program to increase awareness, share ideas and support innovative approaches to improving veterinary medical education.

MSD Animal Health, known as Merck Animal Health in the U.S., is teaming up with the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) on an international grant program designed to help mitigate the global public health problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Administered through AAVMC’s Council on International Veterinary Medical Education (CIVME), the new MSD Animal Health CIVME Antimicrobial Stewardship Grant program seeks to improve instructional programs related to AMR in educational institutions around the world, an announcement from AAVMC said.

“Successfully mitigating the antimicrobial resistance problem is going to require the coordinated efforts of many institutions in both the public and private sectors working together at the global level,” AAVMC chief executive officer Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe said. “Training students and professionals about responsible therapeutic practices is an important strategy for success, and we’re pleased to have this opportunity to collaborate with Merck Animal Health on a promising initiative.”

The grant program goal is focused on building networks and using communication technology to increase awareness, share ideas and support innovative approaches to improving veterinary medical education at universities around the world, the announcement said.

“We support the responsible use of antibiotics as essential, life-saving veterinary therapeutic tools to improve the health of animals,” said Dr. Elzo M. Kannekens, director global public policy and multilateral affairs, MSD Animal Health. “Their use in veterinary medicine also benefits humans by reducing the spread of disease between animals and humans. We recognize the critical importance of sound antibiotic stewardship by working with partners around the world to support ongoing science and available treatment options to help veterinarians deal with this challenge in an effective way. We are therefore proud to partner with CIVME in the MSD AH CIVME grant program on Antimicrobial Stewardship.”

The grant program will focus on antibiotic stewardship and emphasize disease prevention through improved vaccination protocols, AAVMC said. Keeping more animals free from infectious disease through immunizations will reduce the amount of antimicrobial agents required to treat sick animals.

The grant program is encouraging multi-university collaborations on a global scale. Total project budgets should not exceed $10,000 and will be awarded for a maximum period of 24 months, the announcement said.

Projects are expected to align with one or more criteria that advance CIVME’s mission.

The deadline for grant submission is Jan. 30, 2020. Proposals should be forwarded to CIVME-grant@aavmc.org and grant application materials can found on the CIVME website. Recipients will be informed in March 2020. For more information about the program, please visit the CIVME website or contact Dr. Harold Bok (g.j.bok@uu.nl).

Recognizing its responsibility to provide global leadership for academic veterinary medicine, AAVMC established CIVME in 2016 to promote collaboration, foster innovation and share best practices on a worldwide scale to advance the quality of teaching and learning in veterinary medical education. CIVME comprises representatives from eight major global regions: Australasia, North America, Central/South America, Continental Europe, U.K./Ireland, Middle East, Africa and Asia.

AAVMC is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment around the world by advancing academic veterinary medicine. Members include 52 accredited veterinary medical colleges in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, Australia, Asia and New Zealand.

For more than a century, MSD, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. MSD Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co. Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., is the global animal health business unit of MSD.

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