The County government of Uasin Gishu has embraced establishment of a county policy development action plan in a bid to prevent antimicrobial resistance that is threatening the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi that is posing an increasingly serious threat to public health.
With the support of National antimicrobial resistance (AMR) secretariat from ministry of health and agriculture livestock and fisheries, the county inaugurated the Uasin Gishu county antimicrobial stewardship inter-Agency committee (CASIC) to tackle the problem in addressing this challenge.
Dr Evelyne Rotich, CECM for health services stated that AMR occurs when the medicine used to treat microbes like bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, have weakened or are no longer effective through misuse and overuse of the anti-microbial.
“The key reasons contributing to antimicrobial resistance include misuse and overuse of antibiotics in human health, food-animal production and agriculture, along with poor management of waste emanating from households, farms, factories and human and veterinary healthcare settings,” said Dr Rotich
She pointed out that AMR has multiple implications such as prolonged and more expensive treatment as well as diminishing therapeutic choices among patient and healthcare providers as it contributes to an increase in the cost of healthcare because of the need for more expensive second- or third-line antimicrobial agents.
Agriculture CECM Samuel Yego said that livestock uses 70 percent of antibiotics that are not prescribed by veterinary doctors. The selling of antibiotics without a prescription at a client’s request, he said, is scaling up inappropriate regimens in misusing the drugs further increasing microbes’ resistance.
“Consuming milk and meat from such livestock and poultry are harmful to humans. The committee will help in the implementation of policies to guide farmers and control the use of antibiotics and anti-microbial by formulating mechanisms in implementation of the policy,” said Yego.
The Inter-Agency committee is expected to create awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance through effective communication, education and training. This is expected to strengthen the knowledge and evidence base through surveillance and research and reduce the incidence of infection through effective sanitation, hygiene and infection prevention measures.