NCDC Warns Against Antibiotics Misuse as Common Infections Are Harder to Treat

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control joined the global community to commemorate the 2020 World Antibiotics Awareness Week to further strengthen commitment to mitigating the threat posed by Antimicrobial Resistance to peoples’ health and well-being.

Director General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, told the News Agency of Nigeria  on Wednesday [today] in Abuja that since 2017, NCDC as the National AMR Coordinating body, had worked closely with states, relevant stakeholders in the ministries of health, agriculture and environment to strengthen surveillance for AMR and raise awareness on this global public health threat.

In 2015, the World Health Organisation set aside the month of November to raise awareness on AMR, which occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites resist the effects of medicines or antimicrobials, making common infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.

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Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu

Ihekweazu said the NCDC, in collaboration with Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the animal and human health sectors, with support from partners, are commemorating the WAAW between November 18 and 24, themed, ‘Antimicrobials: Handle with care.’

“The goal is to raise awareness on the global threat of AMR and promote responsible antimicrobial usage among healthcare professionals in the animal, human and environment sectors as well as the public,” he said.

According to him, in the last four years, Nigeria had achieved significant milestones in improving AMR surveillance and increasing awareness on the threat, including constitution of a National Antimicrobial Resistance Coordination Committee and Technical Working Group, a functional surveillance network with sentinel sites and reference, conduct of a situation analysis by laboratories in the human and animal sector, as well as development of a National Action Plan.

“In addition, the NCDC National Reference Laboratory and other laboratories within the national network are enrolled on the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System.

“Through this, and other systems in place, Nigeria is contributing to the global response to AMR,” he said.

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Ihekweazu stressed that because AMR had become an increasingly serious threat to global public health that requires action across various government sectors and the society, Nigerians should avoid the overuse and misuse of antimicrobials, in addition to avoiding heavy use of antibiotics in food animal production.

He stressed that the National AMR secretariat at the NCDC will continue to play a vital role in connecting relevant stakeholders to implement the National Action Plan on AMR.

(NAN)

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