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March 5, 2024
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FG, USAID move to combat antibiotic misuse in veterinary practices

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By Habibu Harisu

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has partnered with USAID Breakthrough Action in a strategic move to tackle the escalating issue of antibiotic misuse in veterinary practices.

Dr Zainab Abdulkarim, an official from the Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, delivered this announcement during a lecture on Wednesday in Sokoto as part of the 2023 Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Week.

The collaborative effort involves key partners such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), USAID Breakthrough Action, Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and the Federal Ministry of Environment.

The initiative aims to address the misuse of antibiotics, particularly targeting students of the Department of Veterinary Medicine at Usmanu Danfodio University Sokoto (UDUS) to instill responsible practices early in their careers.

Abdulkarim emphasised the multifaceted approach, including awareness creation, surveillance, infection prevention and control, responsible antibiotic stewardship, and research to reduce dependency on antimicrobials.

The focus is on educating stakeholders about the dangers of indiscriminate antibiotic use, which can lead to resistance, posing a significant threat to future generations.

Mr Dominic Lazarus, a Veterinary Epidemiologist, Laboratory and AMR Specialist with the Emergency Center for Transborder Animal Disease in FAO, commended the initiative as timely.

He highlighted the link between unnecessary antibiotic use and the rise in resistance cases, stressing the need for a shift in public perceptions regarding standard application modalities.

Lazarus pointed out that AMR poses a significant challenge in Africa, necessitating urgent collaborative efforts.

He further explained that such actions would also help counter the increasing antibiotic resistance exacerbated by economic challenges, including the floating of the Nigerian naira and the removal of fuel subsidy.

The event featured presentations on antimicrobial use, cure, prevention, and treatment, with Dr Nafi’u Lawal of UDUS leading a question and answer session.

The initiative signifies a crucial step towards safeguarding the efficacy of antibiotics in both animal and human healthcare. (NAN) www.nannews.ng

Edited by Chijioke Okoronkwo

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