BUJUMBURA November 28th (ABP) – The Ministry of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS, in collaboration with the office of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Burundi, organized on Tuesday, November 22, 2022, in Bujumbura, a media workshop on the world week for the good use of antimicrobials, edition 2022, for media professionals so that they can, in turn, communicate, inform and raise public awareness on the global phenomenon of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
That media workshop is part of the celebration of this global awareness week for the proper use of antimicrobials, which begins on November 18 and ends on November 24 each year, a check on the site by ABP has revealed.
In his opening remarks, the assistant to the minister in charge of public health, Mr. Isidore Ntiharirizwa, indicated that in our country, the clinical impact of antimicrobial resistance is not documented; pointing out that at globally, the threat of AMR may jeopardize decades of progress in the fight against malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections.
He noted that to raise awareness among the public and healthcare providers, training on antimicrobial resistance must continue to be provided to healthcare workers, including in the context of the Covid-19 response, to sensitize them to the risks related to incorrect prescribing or inappropriate administration of drugs, as well as the importance of hygiene practices to prevent the spread of infections, especially in healthcare structures.
The delegate of the WHO representative in Burundi, Dr. Yao Théodore, clarified that AMR occurs when the microbes responsible for the disease develop resistance to the drugs normally used. That makes infections harder to treat and increases the risk of disease spread, severity and risk of death, he said.
Dr. Théodore indicated that this situation has a negative impact on both humans and animals, with disastrous consequences on food security and global economic growth.
In 2019, 4.95 million deaths occurring worldwide were linked to drug-resistant bacterial infections with 1.27 million attributed directly to AMR. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest AMR-related death rates with 99 deaths per 100,000 people, far exceeding previous global projections of 700,000 annual AMR-related deaths, Dr. Theodore illustrated.
That health professional lamented that more than half of all deaths recorded in the African region are caused by communicable diseases treated with antimicrobial drugs.
He also congratulated the authorities of Burundi for the progress made in the fight against AMR, before revealing that Burundi is one of the 30 countries that have drawn up budgeted multi-sectoral National Action Plans (NAPs) to support resource mobilization to facilitate implementation.
Dr. Théodore took that opportunity to issue a call for action to the government of Burundi, including, among others, the strengthening of surveillance and laboratory capacities for the detection, prevention and response to AMR through strategies and policies both global and regional, in particular those relating to universal health coverage and international health regulations.
That media workshop was enhanced by a number of presentations focusing on the proper use of antimicrobials. The various presenters, including the Acting Director General of the Burundian Authority for the Regulation of Medicines for Human Use and Food (ABREMA), Dr . Ildephonse Nduwayo and the WHO delegate, Dr. Alexis Niyomwungere, recalled the role of each health care professional, human and animal health, namely the clinician, the laboratory technician, the pharmacist and the veterinarian.
During the question-and-answer session, the participants proposed that the pharmacist should not give medication to the patient who has not presented a medical prescription from the consulting clinician. They recommended that clinicians prescribe medication to the patient after seeing the lab results.
Remember that the global week for the good use of antimicrobials is celebrated that year under the theme “Together, let’s prevent antimicrobial resistance”. Denis NTIHINDAGIZWA