The federal government has disclosed that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) had the capability to kill more than 10 million people by the year 2050 if unchecked.
The permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammed Bello, made the disclosure Tuesday at the 2019 National Antibiotic Awareness in Abuja.
Bello, who said the challenge cut across human, agriculture and environment sectors, added that it would require a multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral collaboration of key stakeholders using ‘one health’ approach to tackle the scourge.
According to him, “Most of these deaths will come from Africa as a result of the indiscriminate use of antimicrobials.”
Bello highlighted some drivers of antimicrobial resistance as “misuse of antibiotics, lack of withdrawal periods among other factors,” and harped on the need to create awareness amongst different stakeholders on the risk factors.
The permanent secretary said the government had to put in place enforceable policies and regulations on the use of antimicrobials.
He called on veterinarians and physicians to imbibe responsible and prudent use of antimicrobials.
“Farmers should not self-medicate their animals and also adhere to the complete course of prescribed antibiotics as well as observe withdrawal periods. An antibiotic should be used only when it is necessary and when prescribed by professionals.
“We must avoid self medications and observe the guidelines for usage of each molecule. All hands must be on deck to control AMR,” he said.