The Federal Government has reaffirmed commitment to strengthen policies and regulate the use of antimicrobial in Nigeria.
The government expressed conviction the move would curtail the menace and the abuse of the drugs in humans, animals and the environment.
The Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Bello Umar stated this in Abuja during the National Antibiotic Awareness and Media Engagement Week.
Dr Umar explained ‘Antimicrobial resistance poses a great deal of health challenges to humans, animals and the environment, this menace if not checked could wipe out millions of the people, animals and even distort the ecosystem’’
He faded, “Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a situation whereby antibiotic (drugs) that were effective in the treatment of disease and infections are no longer effective against the same diseases or infections that they are being treated’’, adding that the problem has become a global threat with the propensity to kill more than 10 million people by 2050 if unchecked’’.
Umar identified some of the drivers of antibiotics resistance to include “misuse of antimicrobial/ antibiotics, use of substandard antibiotics, use of antibiotics as growth promoters/ fishes and plants and lack of adherence to withdrawal periods among other factors’’.
According to him, member states of the United Nations during the 68th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) were charged to develop the National Action Plans (NAP) for AMR in line with the Global Action Plans for AMR that was developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and endorsed by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nation (FAO) to fight antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in their respective countries.
He stressed that it was in the light of the foregoing that the National Action Plan for AMR (NAP) in Nigeria was developed and endorsed by the Ministries of Health, Agriculture and Environment and the AMR secretariat is domiciled at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
He urged relevant stakeholders and the general public to take the fight against AMR as a serious business in their respective domain and not to leave it to the government alone.
Besides, he urged veterinarians and physicians to imbibe responsible and prudent use of antimicrobial, saying “The primary responsibility of the government is to put in place enforceable policies and regulations on the use of antimicrobial”.
In her presentation, Dr Dooshima Kwange, Director Quality Assurances in the Department of Veterinary and Pest Control, pointed out some of the roles of the media in fighting antimicrobial resistance to include; creation of awareness and education of the stakeholders, policymakers, livestock and fish farmers veterinarian and health workers and pharmaceutical companies, among others.
The annual National Antibiotics Awareness and Media Engagement Week were instituted by the Tripartite World Health Organisation (W.H.O), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).