Expert Calls For National Policy On Usage, Monitoring Of Resistance To Antibiotics

A Consultant Microbiologist, Dr Mutiu
Bamidele, has urged the Federal Government
to initiate a national policy on the usage and
monitoring of resistance to antibiotics.
Bamidele, who lectures at the Lagos State
University College of Medicine, Ikeja, made the
plea in an interview on Friday in Lagos.
Wikipaedia, an online free encyclopaedia,
defines antibiotics, also called antibacterial,
as a type of antimicrobial drug used in the
treatment and prevention of bacterial
infections.
They may either kill or inhibit the growth of
bacteria.
Bamidele spoke against the recent
commitment by world leaders on the need for
an act on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
World leaders had on Sept. 21 signalled an
unprecedented level of attention to curb the
spread of infections that were resistant to
antimicrobial medicines.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), also in
a statement said, “AMR happens when
bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi develop
resistance against medicines that were
previously able to cure them.’’
According to Bamidele, to curb antimicrobial
resistance, there is need for a national
antibiotic policy which will address when and
how antibiotic should be used.
“Also, it will stipulate who to prescribe
antibiotics to, which are supposed to be a
controlled drug.
“But, it is now available all over the counters
in Nigeria; the policy will also specify
monitoring of resistance across the country,’’
Bamidele said.
The consultant also called for infection
prevention and control policy to address
issues of high rate of hospital acquired
infections and its attendant cost, morbidity
and mortality.
Bamidele said that the policy would prevent
the spread of resistant microbes among the
patients.
“Also, there is need for re-education of the
populace, including the healthcare providers,
on the appropriate use of antibiotic for viral
infections.
“There is need for control of antibiotic use in
animal husbandry which has led to increased
antibiotic use that has a direct relationship to
resistance.
“The diagnostic capacity must be step up to
assist the physicians in proper selection of
appropriate antibiotic,’’ he said.
Bamidele also called for an antibiotic
stewardship programme to train healthcare
givers on the appropriate use of antibiotics.

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