GHP February 2017

NEWS , With more than 50 people in the room, the event gathered experts and policy makers including the Irish Minister for Mental Health and Older People Helen McEn- tee. The overall message coming out from the event was positive and full of hope: demographics are changing, life expectancy ris- es, but ageing should not be seen as a burden for society but as an opportunity. While population ageing is one of the greatest social and economic challenges facing Europe today, it is crucial for Member States to address its implications on health and particularly mental health in a holistic and positive man- ner. Changes in lifestyle, anxiety about the future and increased proportion of physical health con- ditions with age have undeniable impact on the mental health of in- dividuals. The alarming levels of suicides among older persons particularly at time of retirement or when a person becomes dependent on other people must be addressed since depression should not be seen as a normality for older people. Everyone should enjoy the right to participate in society in a meaningful way at all ages. As Minister Helen Mc Entee said “older people are entitled to the same rights than everyone else and in order to make this a reality we must ensure a whole-of-socie- ty and government approach”. Johan Ten Geuzendam from the European Commission shared insights on existing European and international frameworks supporting age and mental health friendly policies including Article 25 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights on the rights of the elderly, the Madrid Interna- tional Plan of Action on Ageing, the EU Cross-border Healthcare Directive, the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabil- ities as well as the World Health Organization Global Strategy on Ageing and Health. Nigel Henderson, President of Mental Health Europe highlighted that, “we are all living longer but IFAH-Europe recently welcomed the Eu- ropean Medicines Agency’s and the Eu- ropean Food Safety Agency’s summary conclusions of their joint opinion on EU meas- ures to reduce the need to use antimicrobials in animal husband- ry as an important acknowledge- ment that there is no perfect farm- ing system and that multifaceted approaches, taking into account local livestock production practic- es, are key to successful strate- gies for tackling AMR. Providing an initial commentary on the report, IFAH-Europe Sec- retary General Roxane Feller said, “This report addresses im- portant questions on livestock production in Europe and high- lights that further research is needed in key areas. The animal health industry in Europe has been a long-term supporter of monitoring the development of re- sistant bacteria through a Target Pathogen Monitoring Programme (TPMP) and surveillance of an- tibiotic use through European Surveillance of Veterinary Anti- microbial Consumption (ESVAC). Greater consistency and harmo- nisation in reporting will improve transparency of antibiotic use in farming and help to develop bet- ter targeted and refined recom- mendations for the responsible use of these important tools for treating animal disease.” A strong supporter of the view that antibiotics should be used ‘as little as possible, as much as neces- sary’, the animal health industry urges caution when envisaging reduction targets. With antimicro- bial resistance being one of the world’s most pressing one health issues, limiting their use to a min- imum is part of the solution, but IFAH said it is important to ensure that any reduction of use is done so on a case-by-case basis, and in a sustainable way that protects animal health. IFAH supports the call for risk management measures that are proportionate and relevant to the risk assessment. Guidance must continue to be science-led and transparent to sustain a predict- able regulatory environment that will create a conducive environ- ment for innovation. IFAH also support a scientific review of op- tions to phase out preventive use in livestock, provided there is no negative impact on animal health, and welcome actions to improve biosecurity to prevent disease oc- currence. “Veterinary medicines play a key role in ensuring optimal hygiene measures on farms and the use of vaccines offer preventive pro- tection. Use of diagnostics and other innovative technologies can also assist with earlier disease detection for a more targeted health management. IFAH are keen to provide support, when called upon by the authorities, for guidance required in terms of ed- ucation for both veterinarians and farmers on the responsible use of all animal health products and the advertising thereof”, concluded Ms. Feller. not always better lives. Increase in life expectancy is a reality across the EU, we need to start preparing for longer lives earlier”. Being prepared will be possible only through the implementation of age-friendly policies ensuring the social inclusion of older peo- ple through participation in socie- ty and inclusion in the community. It is widely acknowledged that active ageing contributes to the well-being and positive mental health of people throughout their life. The active participation in the labour market of people aged 55–64 is on the rise and active and healthy ageing is not only a necessity but a reality. Brenda O’Brien from the European Agen- cy for Safety at Work insisted on the need to focus on healthy workplaces for all ages and called for every employer to assess the risk factors for health in the work- place including psychosocial risks factors. As Ms O’Brien ex- plained “stress and stress related ill health are the second biggest reason why people are absent from work for longer than three days”. Among the many recommenda- tions expressed by speakers and participants can be mentioned the need for training of geriatricians, general practitioners as well ser- vice providers to mental health issues. More information about possible side effects of medica- tion for older people that have implications on mental health should also be provided. Experts emphasised the impor- tance of developing age-friendly policies and integrated strategies in collaboration with organisa- tions representing older persons and mental health associations, calling for more joint thinking and budgetary integration between occupational health and safety, employment and health policies at national and European level. Report Confirms ‘No-One-Size-Fits- All’ Solution to AMR N