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Preventing antimicrobial resistance

By Stanley Akpunonu
10 December 2020   |   4:05 am
A Consultant Clinical Microbiologist at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) Ikeja, Dr. Mutiu Bamidele, has said that lack of access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for both humans and animals, and poor adherence to treatment are the major causes of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

A Consultant Clinical Microbiologist at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) Ikeja, Dr. Mutiu Bamidele, has said that lack of access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for both humans and animals, and poor adherence to treatment are the major causes of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

He also stated that inadequate infection prevention and control across the country and poor sanitation in health care facilities, farms and communities contribute to the menace.

Bamidele made the remark at an event organised by St. Racheal’s Pharma to mark the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2020.

With the theme, “United to Preserve Antimicrobials” the expert noted that AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines, making common infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.

Furthermore, he disclosed that the overuse of medicines in humans, livestock, and agriculture has also accelerated the threat of antimicrobial resistance worldwide.

His words: “Misuse and overuse of antimicrobials in humans, animals and plants, are the main drivers in the development of drug-resistant infections. Poor medical prescribing practices and patient adherence to treatment also, contribute. Antibiotics kill bacteria, but they cannot kill viral infections like colds and flu.”

The consultant, however, frowned at the common overuse of antibiotics in farm animals and agriculture.

Bamidele charged physicians on optimal selection, dose and duration of an antibiotic in the cure and prevention of infection with minimal unintended consequences to the patient including the emergence of resistance and adverse drug events, for improved patient care and healthcare outcomes.

The scientist stated the need to prevent infections and the spread of resistance, track resistance patterns and also developing new drugs and diagnostic tests.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), St. Racheal’s Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Akinide Adeosun, said that the WAAW was designed to intensify awareness of global antimicrobial resistance and also to encourage the best practices to avoid the further emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.

He harped on the need for the country to reflect on the increasing cases of resistance, proffer solutions on what the government can do in unison with patients, health providers and media so as to change the narrative positively.

The CEO stressed that non-availability of new antibiotics, overuse of existing antibiotics, poverty and lack of funds for the medical industry are the major cause of AMR.

The Commissioner for Health, Ogun State, Dr. Tomi Coker, in her remarks, disclosed that health financing would improve the quality of care and provide drugs in the health facilities.

Coker said the health system should rely on more technology and software for easy data analysis adding that the use of data and research in hospitals would improve health outcomes.