By Binta S Jawo
Every year Health Practitioners recognise World Antimicrobial to raise awareness of global Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) with this year running from 18th to 24th November 2022. In furtherance of this cause, the Ministry of Health organised an awareness forum spearheaded by the Directorate of Pharmaceutical Services at the Ministry of Health. The event was funded by World Health Organization. The theme for this year’s commemoration is “preventing antimicrobial resistance together”.
Delivering his welcoming remarks, the AMR National Focal Person, Dr Babanding Sabally stated that World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) is a global campaign that is celebrated annually to improve awareness and understanding of AMR and encourage best practices among the public.
He called on all sectors to encourage the prudent use of antimicrobials and to strengthen preventive measures addressing AMR and working together collaboratively.
The Deputy Director of Veterinary Services, Dr Ousman Ceesay says animals are also very important in the fight against microbial infections. He advised people to be mindful of the type of medicines they consume and stop self-medication as it is very dangerous to human health.
Speaking on behalf of WHO representative, Dr Kassa Muhammed said they have a lot of successes in the health sector, especially in the fight against treatable diseases. He commended The Ministry of Health for partnering with them to raise awareness of anti-microbial resistance. He mentioned that 42 countries in Africa have set up a national action plan to fight the resistance to medications so the implementation of the plan will help Africa in the regulations of medicines.
Delivering his opening statement, Dr Mustapha Bittaye The Director of Health Services under the MoH, highlighted the importance of partnership which he says is very important in the awareness campaign.
He called for more efforts to help in reducing illnesses related to anti-microbial resistance. He also advised the public to know the type of antibiotics they used and abide by the prescription given to them by health practitioners.
According to the WHO, “Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of diseases spreading, severe illness and death. As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines become ineffective and infections become increasingly difficult or impossible to treat”.