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With global projection showing that antibiotics resistance will cost the entire world a total of $100 trillion by 2050 if nothing is done, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has commenced strategies to combat antimicrobial resistance in Nigeria.

According to the Technical Assistant, Communications, NCDC, Dr. Lawal Bakare, the threat of a time when antibiotics will fail to serve their roles in combating infectious diseases is currently the biggest fear of the entire global health system.

Bakare who expressed worry that there is urgent need to nip the situation in the bud disclosed that it is currently deepening the burden of otherwise treatable diseases including malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and childhood infections.

He explained that following many countries inability to provide appropriate access to antibiotics for those who are in dire need of them and the need to understand the scope of antimicrobial resistance challenge as well as how best to combat it, formed the basis for the convergence of this multi-sectorial think tank on antimicrobial resistance.

He disclosed that NCDC recently brought together experts from various Ministries and Agencies, academia and the private sector to chart a path towards a National Action Plan to combat antimicrobial resistance in Nigeria. “The group met to review Nigeria’s requirement to complete her National Action plan and enroll in the Global Antimicrobial Surveillance System (GLASS) of the World Health Organization. Enrollment on GLASS allows for transparent governance of Antimicrobial Resistance, AMR, in countries, as well global assessment of state of the global health system. “Key expert recommendations are for countries to ensure a “One Health” and multi-stakeholder approach in the planning and implementation of their national antimicrobial resistance action planning and strategy.”

He explained that participants at the meeting ensured that considerations of Animal Health, the Environment and Human Health were properly factored into all deliberations. Continuing, Bakare explained that the burden of AMR, is primarily due to misuse of antibiotics and the ultimate outcome of the national intervention is to help reduce the heavy burden from resistance by galvanizing Nigerians to use antibiotics responsibly, to make a more precise assessment of the current situation and burden, and to drive a national capacity building and resource commitment to ensuring the threats of AMR is under check in Nigeria and beyond. In the views of the Director of Planning, Research & Statistics of the NCDC, Dr. Joshua Obasanya, “NCDC will hold itself accountable for this coordination effort; our work is to ensure all relevant actors participate in this. We want to make sure that the One Health approach is evident as we combat AMR in Nigeria. This is the only way to ensure our solutions are really sustainable”. One of the Technical Leads at the meeting, Prof. Iruka Okeke of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Ibadan also noted that “given the enthusiasm experienced during these sessions, I am optimistic that we will meet there required timeline towards a national action plan and AMR surveillance. It is clear, however, that a lot of work needs to be done. I congratulate the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC for taking the bold and critical steps needed for a strong start”.


Source: The Vanguard

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