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NAFDAC Celebrates 2021 World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW); Theme – Spread Awareness Stop Resistance

November 28, 2021,

Introduction

Antibiotic resistance happens when germs like bacteria and fungi develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. An increasing number of infections are untreatable due to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Antibiotic resistance does not mean the body is becoming resistant to antibiotics; it is that bacteria have become resistant to the antibiotics designed to kill them.

AMR is a threat to global health, food security and development. The need to sensitize relevant stakeholders’ to urgently address the misuse and overuse of antibiotics to avert these threats and keep the effectiveness of antibiotics necessitated a virtual stakeholders’ sensitization workshop organized by National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in commemoration of the 2021 World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) (established by Tripartite organizations – the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO)) held 19th November 2021.

During the event, the Director General, Prof. Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye delivered the welcome address below:

The menace and war against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) has, not only gained prominent and global attention but, also become a significant battle that the human race must win. It is in view of this fact; I am delighted to be part of this battle and welcome all our esteemed stakeholders to the front line of this battle. Creating awareness amidst us all is a major step in AMR stewardship by relevant stakeholders to effectively stop resistance. This step is unique and is expected, not only to redirect our way of handling and use of antimicrobial agents, but also to yield a significant reduction in the incidence of AMR.     

Today, NAFDAC is using this meeting, which shall be an annual event, to mark her participation in the year 2021 World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW). This year’s theme: Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance, targets professionals in the healthcare sector, veterinarians, Animal Husbandry professionals in livestock production, Plant pathologist and individuals that   use antimicrobial Agents. As we listen to various resource person and different research works that have been done, we shall be learning new strategies and the recent developments needed to combat AMR at our duty post. It is no doubt that the fight against AMR requires collective efforts that are interlinked and interphase along the chain. To this end, NAFDAC in her regulatory activities has put in place some important regulatory measures to curb the emergence and spread of AMR. This is very necessary and extremely important to ensure food safety and food security, a safe environment, and a healthy citizen in our dear country. Everyone in the healthcare, livestock production and environmental management subsectors of the economy is directly or indirectly involved in curbing AMR.

It is important to know that NAFDAC is more committed to ensuring that only safe and wholesome food, drugs, and other regulated products are available to Nigerians. The Agency is now more dedicated to the delivery of quality services to our stakeholders thus the Agency’s slogan “customer focused….. Agency minded” which is now well entrenched in our operations.

In today’s NAFDAC, the Agency seeks to strengthen collaboration with stakeholders, sister MDAs both at State and Federal levels, toward a more effective regulation and active involvement in creating awareness about AMR. Ignorant and /non-conformance amidst professionals will be a serious setback in bring to an end the emergence and spread of AMR.

Today’s meeting objective is to enlighten and disseminate correct information on responsible use of antimicrobial agents amongst professionals and the public. Key messages such as: 

  • Advocacy for Judicious and prudent use of antimicrobial agents
  • Do not engage in drug Abuse, Misuse and Overuse
  • Adhere to national policies, regulations and international standards set out by the national regulatory bodies and the international bodies such as Codex, OIE, FAO and WHO

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), stake in the protection of public health, as entrenched in NAFDAC Act Cap N1 LFN 2004, is to ensure that regulated products that are available for use are wholesome, safe and of the right quality. The Agency, in fulfilling this mandate toward combating AMR, is adding impetus to her regulatory activities through industrial outreach and collaboration with stakeholders and fostering synergy within her technical directorates to attain a seamless regulatory process and ensuring that the distribution and use of regulated products are effectively controlled through a robust Post Marketing Surveillance. Currently, the Agency has, amidst other regulatory actions:

  • Review the formulation of Veterinary antibiotics to prevent the excessive use of multiple Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients
  • Banned the use of Antibiotics as growth promoter in livestock and fish production
  • Banned the use of Antibiotics and gentian violent as mold inhibitor in animal feed
  • Introduced the Mobile Authentication Service (MAS), a mechanism put in place for detecting counterfeit antibiotics by consumers.
  • NAFDAC road show campaign and public enlightenment on the appropriate, and more importantly inappropriate use of antimicrobial agents to promote safe and judicious use of antibiotics.

At the end of today’s meeting, I expect all participants to have been enlisted as ambassadors, to further create awareness about AMR and promote the responsible use of antimicrobials in ways that ensure sustainable access to effective therapy for all and sundry.

While I look forward to the report of this meeting, I wish to acknowledge the cooperation of the management of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) towards eradicating AMR at National level. I also wish to thank everyone for your time. Once again you are all welcome to today’s virtual meeting and I hereby declare the meeting open.

Thank you.

Prof. Mojisola C. Adeyeye PhD FAS

Director-General (NAFDAC)

NAFDAC……… “Customer focused….. Agency minded” !!!

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