28 September 2020 | Abuja– Inaugural Meeting of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Coordination Committee
The threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is growing at an alarming rate and the situation is aggravated due to the inappropriate use of antimicrobials. Self-medication is a common practice where patients often get antimicrobials without prescription and through unregulated supply chains. This results in the exposure of pathogens to antimicrobials that do not work sufficiently, thus increasing the chances of acquiring resistance and all its consequences. The emergence of multidrug-resistant organisms has led to increased mortality and economic burden. The Federal Government of Nigeria is contributing to the global response to the AMR threat, including the establishment of a committee that will work together to advocate for the responsible use of antimicrobials.
To confront this threat, on the 26th of November 2016, the Honourable Minister for Health approved the establishment of Nigeria’s National AMR Coordinating Body at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Following this, a National AMR Technical Working Group (NAMR-TWG) was created in 2017, comprising One Health stakeholders i.e. human health, animal health, food animal production and environment sectors, pooled from Ministries, Departments, Agencies, development partners, private sector and civil society organizations. Since then, the NAMR-TWG have conducted an analysis of the AMR situation in Nigeria and developed a National Action Plan for AMR containment in the country.
As part of Nigeria’s commitment to control AMR, 21 laboratories across the human, animal and environment sectors have been enrolled into the National AMR surveillance system, coordinated by NCDC. Of the 21 laboratories, three human health laboratories submit routine reports on six priority bacterial pathogens to the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (GLASS). The GLASS is an initiative developed to support the global action plan on antimicrobial resistance. In addition, NCDC has been training healthcare workers on infection prevention and control programmes in hospitals. Nigeria is a recipient of the UK Government Fleming Fund and receives support from the World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization and other partners to strengthen ongoing efforts to strengthen surveillance for AMR in the human, animal and environment health sectors.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control convened the inaugural meeting of the National Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Coordination Committee on the 28th of September 2020. This Committee has been established to review the National Action Plan for AMR developed in 2017 and provide strategic guidance on implementing prioritised activities. The committee includes representatives from Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Environment, Health and Representatives from the development partners in the tripartite sectors (FAO, WHO, OIE and Fleming Fund). This group will work to ensure that Nigeria has a functional system to combat AMR, which includes surveillance capacity for resistance tracking and antimicrobial use, prevention of AMR in health care facilities, food production and the community. The group will work with relevant stakeholders to ensure the appropriate use of antimicrobials and sustain a multisectoral One-Health collaboration to take decisive and comprehensive action to limit AMR emergence.
About the NCDC
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is the country’s national public health institute, with the mandate to lead the preparedness, detection and response to infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies. The Bill for an Act to establish NCDC was signed into law in November 2018, by President Muhammadu Buhari. The mission for the NCDC (2017-2021) is ‘To protect the health of Nigerians through evidence-based prevention, integrated disease surveillance and response activities, using a One Health approach, guided by research and led by a skilled workforce’.
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