Experts root for best practices as Kenya marks world antimicrobial awareness week


The government through the ministries of Health, Agriculture, Livestock Development in collaboration with other Ministries have consolidated national efforts to implement sustainable measures to mitigate the effects of Antimicrobial Resistance which poses a growing threat to treatment and control of epidemic prone, endemic as well as pandemic diseases.
Speaking on behalf of the Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha during the launch of World Antibiotics Awareness Week 2022, Acting Head Directorate of Health Standards Quality Assurance and Regulation Dr. Simon Kibias said through the use of this One-Health approach, the various Ministries have developed a National Action Plan and an AMR Policy whose implementation is underway.
“The continuous emergence of resistance to antimicrobials restricts our ability to treat diseases, reversing the gains made in the fight against infectious diseases and curbs efforts to achieve Universal Health Coverage and the health-related sustainable development goals. To efficiently and effectively implement the interventions in the NAP, functional and integrated systems, with well-coordinated, suitably resourced governing structures, are required.” Said Dr. Kibias.
He said there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to accelerate action towards curbing the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance in the next version of the National Action Plan.
“We need to end the use of antimicrobial drugs that are of critical importance to human medicine in promoting growth in animals, limiting the amount of antimicrobial drugs administered to prevent infection in healthy animals and plants and ensuring that their use is performed with regulatory oversight and ensuring access to quality and affordable antimicrobials for animal and human health.” Noted Dr. Kibias.
According to Kibias, there was need to improve mechanisms and broaden appropriate access to good quality antimicrobials as well as fix supply chain for antimicrobials needs.
“We should ensure that there is effective governance and professional oversight of the sales and use of antimicrobials and stewardship of antimicrobials in all sectors. We also need to work towards elimination or marked reduction of over-the-counter sales of antimicrobials by implementing stringent rules to strengthen and increase professional oversight.” Added Dr. Kibias
Stakeholders and partners present in the launch retaliated that there is need to encourage best practices among health workers, animal health practitioners, environmentalists, general public and policy makers who all play a critical role in reducing the further emergence and spread of AMR.
The Global Research on Antimicrobial Resistance (GRAM) report 2022 estimate that, at least 1.27 million deaths per year are directly attributable to AMR with the highest rates of AMR burden being in sub-Saharan Africa.