November 18, 2021,
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is celebrating 2021 National Antimicrobial Awareness Week (NAAW) in commemoration of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW), organized by Tripartite Organizations; World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) scheduled to hold between 18th – 24th November, 2021 with the theme: Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance which targets professionals in the Healthcare sector, Veterinarians, Animal Husbandry professionals in livestock production, Plant Pathologist and individuals that use antimicrobial agents.
The availability and accessibility of antibiotics has transformed and continued to help the practice of both animal and human medicine. This has allowed for the treatment of infections, which were once deadly and fatal while also advancing optimum global health through improved animal welfare, food security and food safety. Preserving the efficacy of these life-saving medications, as well as their availability for both human and veterinary use, is therefore essential to preserve our future.
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is one of the major threat to global health, development and food security. The development and proliferation of AMR, which is the ability of pathogenic microorganism to resist the effect of antibiotics when used to treat internal or external infections in both human and animal population has compromised the ability of antimicrobials to effectively treat infectious diseases as expected. AMR has become a global problem that threatens the lives of millions of people and endangers the economies of countries on every continent. The emergence and spread of drug-resistant pathogens continues to weaken the health systems.
Several factors have perpetuated the accelerated AMR occurrence; they contribute in various ways to the problem. Misuse resulting from overuse and underuse of antibiotics have been identified as main causes and implicated in the increasing trend of resistant pathogens in both human and animal populations. Consequently, minimizing the emergence and spread of AMR requires a coordinated, focused multi-sectorial and multinational effort. It is no doubt that the fight against AMR requires collective efforts that are interlinked and interphase along the One-Health Concept.
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.
The Agency’s 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 for the public. 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.
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