The Kotahitanga report on infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance is out!
Our newly released report, Kotahitanga: Uniting Aotearoa against infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance, details the infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance challenges facing Aotearoa New Zealand across human, animal, plant, and environmental health. The report was launched virtually today – you can watch comments from the PM, Min Verrall, and our expert panel here.
The Kotahitanga report includes a set of clear and impactful recommendations from our panel of ten experts. If adopted, these evidence-based recommendations will improve the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders and enable Aotearoa to play its part in global efforts to keep our medicines working for as long as possible.
This report was made possible thanks to the dedication of our panel, who came together despite the challenges of working on this project during a global pandemic. I’m also grateful to the 200+ members of the wider reference group, who strengthened drafts, participated in workshops, and answered our many questions along the way. Particular thanks to my talented co-chair, Dr Matire Harwood. Ngā mihi.
The concept of kotahitanga – unity, togetherness – echoes throughout the report. To combat infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance, we need to unite across many dimensions. With pathogens and resistance genes able to move between humans, animals, plants, and the environment, solutions need to be interdisciplinary. With microbes knowing no geographic boundaries, we need to work with the international community.
Māori and Pacific voices are a critical part of the solution, and enable a focus on inequities evident in health outcomes. And, as we have seen with COVID-19, we need all New Zealanders to play a role: decision makers and policy officials, healthcare workers and vets, researchers and lab technicians, farmers and pet owners, and all of us as consumers of antimicrobials need to choose wisely which ones to use, and when.
In pleasant contrast to some areas of science, this topic brings a remarkable consensus on what needs to be done to tackle infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance from experts across diverse fields. The Kotahitanga report summarises an expansive international and national evidence base to guide the way forward as we unite against infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance.
For those who are after a short and sweet overview of our findings and recommendations, the key messages report is an accessible and digestible read. And for those who want to get across the ins and outs of infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance, the full report will hit the spot. Enjoy!