The General Hospital, Ijede, has called the attention of the general public to the deadly tendency of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), saying that the effects of antibiotic resistance could be a bigger crisis than the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), if care is not taken.
Matron Mary Okoh, Principal Nursing Officer, Ijede General Hospital, disclosed this during the periodic Continuous Medical Education (CME) programme organised for medical staff of the facility, describing AMR as a phenomenon driven by rampant misuse of antimicrobial agents.
In her words “According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), AMR is a natural biological unstoppable phenomenon, which is driven by rampant misuse of antimicrobial agents in which 50% of antibiotics are prescribed inappropriately; 50% of patients have poor compliance rate; 50% of the population do not have access to essential antibiotics and 50% of antibiotics in some countries are used in animal growth promotion”.
Okoh enumerated the causes of antibiotic resistance to include over-prescription of antibiotics to patients, incomplete medical treatment, abuse of antibiotics in livestock and fish farming, lack of hygiene, poor sanitation, and lack of introduction of new antibiotics, among others.
She disclosed that failure to address the problem of antibiotics resistance could result in 10 million deaths by 2050, stressing that AMR strikes hardest on poor treatment of resistant infections, untreatable infections in animals, which threaten sustainable food production of the growing population and antibiotic residues from hospitals.
While giving a statistical analysis of AMR in Nigeria, Okoh revealed that the systematic review on antibiotics use carried out by Nigeria in 2017 indicated that only 42% of patients examined completed the prescribed dose of antibiotics.
The Matron opined that increasing awareness, promoting rational access to antibiotics and antimicrobial stewardship, investing in research to quantify the cost of resistance and developing new antimicrobials are some of the strategies that can help curb the incidence of the global threat of antimicrobial resistance.
“The National Action Plan (NAP) goal is to reduce, prevent and possibly slow the emergence of resistant organisms, while ensuring optimal use and improved access to quality antimicrobials that would be effective and safe for continued successful treatment of infections”, she asserted.