The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC has expressed concerns over the increasing rate of irrational use of antibiotics which it said had further accelerated the process of antimicrobial resistance leading to avoidable deaths.
The Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, gave the advice at the virtual 2021 World Antimicrobial Resistance Week (WAAW) anniversary with the theme: “Spread Awareness Stop Resistance.”
A statement issued by NAFDAC’s Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola in Lagos, quoted Adeyeye as warning that if allowed to fester, antimicrobial resistance could lead to death. She added that the menace and war against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) has, not only gained prominent and global attention but, also become a significant battle that the human race must win.
“It is in view of this fact that 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, adding that the “step is unique and is expected, not only to redirect our way of handling and use of antimicrobial agents, but also to yield a significant reduction in the incidence of AMR.”
According to her, NAFDAC used the stakeholders’ meeting, to mark her participation in the 2021 World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW), targeting professionals in the healthcare sector, veterinarians, and animal husbandry professionals in livestock production, plant pathologists and individuals that use antimicrobial agents.
Adeyeye expressed dismay that the development and proliferation of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), which is the ability of pathogenic microorganism to resist the effect of antimicrobial agents when used to treat internal or external infections in both human and animal population had compromised the ability of antimicrobials to effectively treat infectious diseases as expected.
“The emergence and spread of drug-resistant pathogens continues to weaken the health systems,” she lamented.
The NAFDAC boss posited that the fight against AMR required collective efforts that are interlinked and interphase along the One-Health Concept.
To this end, she said NAFDAC in her regulatory activities had 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, adding that everyone in the healthcare, livestock production and environmental management subsectors of the economy is directly or indirectly involved in curbing AMR.
Adeyeye, however, reaffirmed NAFDAC’s commitment to ensuring that only safe and wholesome food, drugs, and other regulated products are available to Nigerians.