The Director General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye is encouraging the fourteen directorates of NAFDAC to interact more with the Nigerian public through awareness and education of food- or drug-related public health issues. Three of the directorates: Drug Evaluation and Research (DER), Veterinary and Allied Products (VMAP) and Registrations and Regulatory Affairs (R&R) have put together this press release on antimicrobial resistance.
As part of its mandate in safeguarding the health of the citizenry, NAFDAC wishes to draw the attention of the general public to Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), a subject that has become a global concern to both human and animal health.
The incidence of AMR leads to treatment failure or infections that cannot be easily treated, death and economic loss. This is a real problem in Nigeria because we tend to not finish antibiotic medication or buy only what can be afforded. In a local hospital in Nigeria, it was reported that many neonates or newborn acquire AMR from the mothers during childbirth.
The child’s infection ended up not responding to treatment with the usual antibiotics. Many children have died as a result. This is not unique to the hospital; the situation at the particular hospital was just documented through scientific evidence.
What is AMR?
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is regarded as the ability of pathogenic microorganism to resist the effect of anti-microbial agents when used to treat internal or external infection.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
There are many causes amongst which are the following:
- Using antimicrobial agents when not needed can make the pathogenic microorganism develop resistance.
- Proliferation and use of fake, adulterated, and substandard Antimicrobial agents will result in exposure of pathogenic microorganism to sub clinical or no dosage of antimicrobial agents.
- Misuse resulting from overuse and underuse of antimicrobial agents are implicated in the increasing trend of resistant pathogens in both human and animal populations.
- The use of antimicrobial agents for preventive measures and growth promotion in animal production has been implicated as contributor to overall resistance problem in animals.
- The consumption of animal products with high residue of antimicrobial agents resulting from non-adherence to withdrawal period when treating food producing animals.
- Irrational use of antimicrobial agents and multiple drugs in formulation of medications for both human and animal use.
- Administration of medicated feeds in livestock production without professional advice.
- Uncontrolled access to antimicrobials.
How can it be curbed?
- Reduce availability and ease of access to antimicrobials from pharmacies and unauthorized sources with or without prescription e.g. from patent medicines vendors shops, hawkers and mobile public transit buses.
- Stop the sale of antimicrobial prescription medicines as Over-The Counter (OTC) drugs in Nigeria and increase monitoring.
- Use antimicrobials only as directed by the physician/veterinarian on humans and animals respectively and always completing the dose. Prescription should be based on appropriate diagnostic and sensitivity testing.
- Buy antimicrobials from only registered pharmacies/veterinary outlets and insist on collecting a receipt.
- Do not use antibiotics as feed additives except when prescribed by a veterinarian. This is because we ingest the antibiotics through the meat, fish and poultry that we eat, according to the Director General.
- Antibiotics sold in the Nigerian must bear Mobile Authentication Scheme (MAS) hologram for tracking genuine product
What is NAFDAC doing?
- Creation of awareness on the danger of antimicrobial resistance through
- Mass Education on AMR
- Public Enlightenment by the use of jingles
- Use of Information, Education & Communication (IEC) materials
2.Securing our borders from influx of fake drugs
3.Applying the full weight of the law by ensuring compliance to the MAS scheme
- Educating farmers on the importance of bio security and Good Agricultural Practice (GAP).
- NAFDAC is reviewing the technical requirements for the registration of antibiotics
- NAFDAC in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources has prohibited the use of some antibiotics in food producing animals
The Director General emphasized that she has given directive to ensure that approval of all drugs especially antibiotics and antimalarials is well scrutinized and stringent in order to ensure that only quality medicines get to the consumer.
The return of NAFDAC to the ports will also improve significantly the elimination of substandard and falsified medicines that are being imported unto the country and which have contributed greatly to AMR.
In conclusion, the Agency is seeking the cooperation of all health professionals – doctors, pharmacists, veterinarians, dentists, nurses, etc., farmers and general public to ensure that the menace of AMR is stopped.
NAFDAC!!! Safeguarding the Health of the Nation.