Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has warned against excessive use of antibiotics, saying the practice can end up killing good bacteria and creating resistance to antimicrobial medicines.
The director-general of NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, gave the warning yesterday in Abuja, at an Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) policy dialogue to commemorate World Antibiotics Awareness Week (WAAW), annually held from Nov. 18 to Nov. 24.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the National AMR Secretariat organised a one-day policy dialogue with the theme “AMR Response and Financing in Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities’’ as part of the National Antimicrobial Awareness Week (NAAW) activities.
The dialogue is to foster discussions on new opportunities to finance the AMR National Action Plan and evaluate One Health Response to AMR and funding.
The NCDC boss, who was represented by Dr Chinwe Ochu, public health specialist and NCDC’s director, prevention programmes and knowledge management, said, “Antimicrobials save countless lives around the world every day.”
“Antimicrobials, which include antibiotics, are life-saving medicines that are used daily to treat – and prevent – infections from microorganisms.
“They are responsible for huge progress in medicine, allowing us to prevent and treat diseases and infections. But our persistent misuse of antimicrobials puts this in danger,’’ he said.
Adetifa said that “Public education means that Nigerians are probably getting better at realising that antibiotics should be used sparingly, while official warnings continue to emphasise that antibiotic resistance has become one of the biggest threats to health globally.’’
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative for Nigeria, Dr Walter Mulombo, said, “Antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world. Without urgent action, we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries can once again kill.”