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November 27, 2017

GSK partners NCDC, WHO on National Action Plan on Anti-Microbial Resistance

GSK partners NCDC, WHO on National Action Plan on Anti-Microbial Resistance

L-R Managing Director, GSK Pharmaceutical Nigeria Ltd, Bhushan Akshibar, Marketing Director, GSK Pharmaceutical Nigeria Ltd, Alexandra Spang; Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu and Communication and Government Affairs Director, GSK Pharmaceutical Nigeria Ltd during the Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) Symposium commemorating the 2017 Antibiotic Awareness Week supported by GSK Pharmaceutical Nigeria Ltd in Abuja… recently

In a move to curb an impending anti-microbial resistance challenge in Nigeria, experts have canvassed for a major policy change in the regulation and administration of antibiotics in Nigeria. Nigerians have also been advised to be discretional in their use of antibiotic else they may simply be contributing to antibiotics resistance which may be lethal in the near future.

L-R- Managing Director, GSK Pharmaceutical Nigeria Ltd, Bhushan Akshibar; Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu and Representative, United States Centre for Disease Control, Mr. McPaul Okoye during the Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) Symposium commemorating the 2017 Antibiotic Awareness Week supported by GSK Pharmaceutical Nigeria Ltd in Abuja… recently

These were some of the submissions at the Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) symposium held in commemoration of the World Antibiotics Awareness week in Abuja recently.

The event which was supported by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Nigeria Limited was convened by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in partnership with the World Health Organisation, the Global Antibiotic Resistance Partnership (GARP), the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) and Dufit Blue and the Nigeria Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

L-R Managing Director, GSK Pharmaceutical Nigeria Ltd, Bhushan Akshibar, Marketing Director, GSK Pharmaceutical Nigeria Ltd, Alexandra Spang; Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu and Communication and Government Affairs Director, GSK Pharmaceutical Nigeria Ltd during the Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) Symposium commemorating the 2017 Antibiotic Awareness Week supported by GSK Pharmaceutical Nigeria Ltd in Abuja… recently

The theme of the 2017 Antibiotics Awareness Week was “Think twice. Seek Advice from a Health Professional”.

Speaking on the theme and the contributions of GSK Pharmaceuticals in combating anti-microbial resistance, the Managing Director, GSK Pharmaceutical, Mr. Bhushan Akshikar described AMR threat as the “largest cloud looming over humanity”.

Akshikar stated that with a projected 20 million possible deaths which may be caused by anti-microbial resistance in the near future, there must be a concerted effort to create awareness and advocacy that would serve as mitigations to avoid a possible epidemic.

L-R Medical Director, GSK Pharmaceutical Nigeria Ltd, Dr. Omolaja Odunuga, Managing Director, GSK Pharmaceutical Nigeria Ltd, Bhushan Akshibar, Marketing Director, GSK Pharmaceutical Nigeria Ltd, Alexandra Spang and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu during the Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) Symposium in Abuja to commemorate the 2017 Antibiotic Awareness Week supported by GSK Pharmaceutical Nigeria Ltd… recently

“GSK has a long history of been one of the world’s largest research and antibiotics producing pharmaceuticals company. We are very conscious of the dangers of anti-microbial resistance in humans. In this instance, we have developed a three-pronged approach which borders on our partnerships to reduce and possibly eradicate cases of anti-microbial resistance.

We have partnered with other stakeholders in the areas of preventing the misuse of antibiotics; we have partnered in the areas of preventing infections that may lead to the use of antibiotics; and we have also partnered on creating awareness on the need to fully complete the dosage of any antibiotics by patients when prescribed. We believe these partnerships will serve as measures to reduce incidences of AMR” Akshikar said.

In his remark, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu said avoiding AMR is cheap if Nigerians are willing to take some simple steps towards addressing the challenge.

“We must show great care and responsibility in dealing with the issues of anti-microbial resistance. We must endeavour to eat well to avoid illnesses. We must get the right vaccination. Health professionals should get themselves well equipped to offer the appropriate counsel. We must discourage inappropriate use of antibiotics in health and agricultural produce.

“We must seek professional advice when we are sick and avoid arbitrary use of antibiotics. We must avoid using antibiotics in viral infection as such drugs will not help. More so, if our medical expert does not recommend the use of antibiotics in a particular instance, we should not insist or get such antibiotics from unauthorised sources” Ihekweazu said.

Advocating for adequate health security in Nigeria, the National Programme Officer, World Health Organisation, Pharm. Omotayo Hamzat said bacteria causing some common infections are daily evading the regular antibiotics used in treating them, thereby contributing to the spread of such diseases like gonorrhoea.

“The reasonable step to addressing these issues is to have a close tracking of antibiotic resistance infections. Patients should avoid sharing antibiotics and endeavour to complete their dosage. Antibiotics should be used in animals to promote growth but treat diseases else humans may consume the residuals of such drugs thus leading to AMR in humans” Hamzat said.

Plenary sessions at the symposium also examined the role of social behaviour communication change (SBCC) in reducing cases of AMR and the control of animal-human interface in AMR. The highpoint of the symposium was the launch of the document on Situational Analysis and the National Action Plan on Anti-Microbial Resistance in Nigeria as the participants made a pledge to better antimicrobial stewardship.