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Stronger Governance Needed to Tackle Superbugs in Africa: Antimicrobial Resistance Threatens Africa’s Development

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Stronger Governance Needed to Tackle Superbugs in Africa: Antimicrobial Resistance Threatens Africa’s Development

Africa aims to encourage best practices among the public, health workers, farmers, animal health professionals and policy makers

ACCRA, Ghana, November 17, 2021 / APO Group / –

Leaders of six regional organizations in Africa are calling for stronger governance to fight antimicrobial resistance, or AMR, on the eve of Global Antimicrobial Awareness Week (November 18-24).

The emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance in Africa – where microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites are resistant to antimicrobial treatments – complicate the management of many infectious diseases and endanger the animal health and welfare; and food production and safety. and security.

The fight against AMR requires a holistic and multisectoral approach. World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) in Africa aims to encourage best practices among the public, health workers, farmers, animal health professionals and policy makers to prevent the emergence and spread of drug resistant infections in humans and animals.

The week also marks two years since a unique partnership of six regional organizations was formed to advance the fight against AMR in Africa, involving tripartite partners (the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations ( FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO)), with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the African Centers for the Control and Prevention of diseases (Africa CDC) and the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR).

Events in Africa during WAAW 2021 include:

A high-level event on Thursday 18 November including round tables with representatives of regional organizations and ministers of human, animal and environmental health. The six regional organizations will also launch a communiqué calling for greater governance of AMR in Africa and renewing their commitment to jointly fight AMR.

A series of round tables on the major issues: Friday, November 19: regulations and legislation necessary for responsible management of AMR risk; Monday 22 November: implementation and financing of national multisectoral AMR action plans; Tuesday 23 November lessons learned from COVID-19: the role of civil society organizations and professional bodies in the fight against AMR; Wednesday 24 November: adoption of a One Health approach and multisectoral coordination mechanisms for AMR;

A twitter chat on Saturday, November 20 on the fight against AMR in the African context. Get involved by following the hashtag # WAAWAfrica2021

To learn more about this year’s events, please visit: https://bit.ly/2YCfDGn

Spread the word, not the germs!

Simple steps individuals can take to reduce the risk of AMR in their communities include:

Be AMR-Smart: Stay healthy by washing your hands frequently and practicing good hygiene, and thinking twice and seeking advice before buying and using antimicrobials. Farmers can improve farm management, hygiene, animal welfare, and biosecurity practices to prevent animal infections and the spread of germs. When animals get sick, the best course of action is to seek out a correct diagnosis and follow the instructions for properly administering antimicrobials and using vaccines when indicated.

Be an educator: One easy step to help spread awareness about AMR is to wear blue during Global Antimicrobial Awareness Week. Although it is a leading global threat to public health, many policymakers, professionals and the general public are often largely unaware of antimicrobial resistance. To enhance the visibility of this health priority, individuals, communities and organizations are encouraged to wear blue to highlight the issue.

Be a vaccination hero: Keeping people healthy so they don’t need to take antimicrobials in the first place is essential in the fight against AMR. Get vaccinated and encourage your family and friends to get vaccinated against any diseases that have vaccines.

Facts about AMR in Africa

AMR affects humans, animals and the environment. AMR could kill 4.1 million people across Africa by 2050 unless we take action to resist resistance now. Developing countries in Africa could lose up to 5% of their GDP due to AMR. This means that the financial toll of antimicrobial resistance would be heavier than the financial crisis of 2008. Deadly infections like tuberculosis (TB) have become resistant to life-saving antibiotics. Malaria, which kills 3,000 children in Africa every day, is becoming resistant to once effective treatment. If we don’t resist the Resistance, we could lose these life-saving drugs. The coronavirus makes AMR worse. A recent study found that among patients hospitalized with coronavirus, 72% received an antimicrobial that they did not need. Only 8% had infections that could be treated with this life-saving drug.

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