NAFDAC warns that antimicrobial resistance from abuse of antibiotics can lead to death

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned against constant irrational use of antibiotics

Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director-General of NAFDAC, who gave this a strong note of warning in Lagos, at the virtual 2021 World Antimicrobial Resistance Week anniversary, said that this can accelerate the process of Antimicrobial Resistance, which might lead to deaths.

Sayo Akintola, NAFDAC’s Resident Media Consultant, in a statement quoted Adeyeye as saying that the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) menace and the war against it is now a significant battle that the human race must win.

“It is in view of this fact; I am delighted to be part of this battle and welcome all our esteemed stakeholders to the front line of this battle. Creating awareness amidst us all is a major step in AMR stewardship by relevant stakeholders to effectively stop resistance,” she said.

Adeyeye said the awareness campaign is unique and aimed at redirecting stakeholders’ way of handling and use of antimicrobial agents so as to yield a significant reduction in the incidence of AMR.  

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is the ability of a pathogenic microorganism to resist the effect of antimicrobial agents when used to treat internal or external infections in both human and animal populations;

The NAFDAC boss expressed dismay that the development and proliferation of AMR has compromised the ability of antimicrobials to effectively treat infectious diseases as expected.

“The emergence and spread of drug-resistant pathogens continue to weaken the health systems,” she lamented.

She explained that NAFDAC is using the stakeholders’ meeting, to mark its participation in the year 2021 World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW), which has the theme, ‘Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance’ to target professionals in the Healthcare sector, Veterinarians, Animal Husbandry professionals in livestock production, Plant Pathologists and individuals that use antimicrobial agents.

She added that everyone in the healthcare, livestock production and environmental management subsectors of the economy is directly or indirectly involved in curbing AMR.

Adeyeye stated that the fight against AMR requires collective efforts that are interlinked and interphase along with the One-Health Concept.  Hence, she said NAFDAC in its regulatory activities has put in place some important regulatory measures to curb the emergence and spread of AMR.

“This is very necessary and extremely important to ensure food safety and food security, a safe environment, and a healthy citizen in our dear country,” she said.

NAFDAC, in fulfilling its mandate toward combating AMR, is adding impetus to its regulatory activities through industrial outreach and collaboration with stakeholders and fostering synergy within its technical directorates to attain a seamless regulatory process and ensuring that the distribution and use of regulated products are effectively controlled through a robust Post Marketing Surveillance.

Adeyeye disclosed that the NAFDAC has, amidst other regulatory actions, reviewed the formulation of all antibiotics to prevent the excessive use of multiple Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and banned the use of antibiotics as a growth promoter in livestock and fish production.

She stated that the Agency has banned the use of Antibiotics and gentian violet as mold inhibitors in the animal feed while it has introduced the Mobile Authentication Service (MAS), a mechanism put in place for detecting counterfeit antibiotics by consumers.

NAFDAC also organised a roadshow campaign and public enlightenment on the appropriate use of antimicrobial agents to promote the safe and judicious use of antibiotics.

The NAFDAC DG regretted that several factors that have helped in increasing AMR occurrence, including misuse resulting from overuse and underuse of antimicrobial agents, have been identified as the main causes in the increasing trend of resistant pathogens in both human and animal populations.

“Consequently, minimizing the emergence and spread of AMR requires a coordinated, focused multi-sectoral and multinational effort,” she said.

Adeyeye explained that NAFDAC seeks to strengthen collaboration with stakeholders and sister MDAs both at State and Federal levels in creating awareness about AMR in order to ensure more effective regulation and active involvement.

She pointed out that ignorant and/or non-conformance amidst professionals will be a serious setback in bringing to an end the emergence and spread of AMR.

Adeyeye used the event to reaffirm NAFDAC’s commitment to ensuring that only safe and wholesome food, drugs, and other regulated products are available to Nigerians, stating that “the Agency is now more dedicated to the delivery of quality services to our stakeholders thus the Agency’s slogan ‘customer-focused, Agency minded’ which is now well entrenched in our operations.”

The Agency’s stake in the protection of public health, as entrenched in NAFDAC Act Cap N1 LFN 2004, is to ensure that regulated products that are available for use are wholesome, safe and of the right quality.

editor

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