By Martins Ifijeh
Following the increasing rate of antibiotic resistance in Nigeria, leading antibiotic manufacturers and marketers, St Racheal’s Pharma has stated that it would be conducting Surveillance of Antibiotic Resistance (SOAR) in Nigeria.
Stating this at a media briefing to mark the 2018 World Antibiotic Awareness Week, the Chief Executive Officer, St Racheal’s Pharma, Mr. Akinjide Adeosun, said the study, which will be conducted in 2019, will provide doctors with current antibiotic sensitivity pattern, as well as guide them towards rational prescription of the drugs.
He said: “This will promote better treatment outcome for patients and peace of mind for doctors and pharmacists, and will on the long run help in curbing antibiotic resistance in the country.
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines the right to health as the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health. This fundamental human right could be breached if we do not preserve the potency of the antibiotics we have today.”
He listed some causes of treatment failure in Nigeria to include wrong diagnosis and misapplication of antibiotics by quacks, lack of hygiene and poor sanitation by patients, under-dose of antibiotics by patients with correct diagnosis, counterfeit antibiotics by unscrupulous pharmaceutical manufacturers, among others.
“To tackle the menace of antibiotic resistance in Nigeria, we advised members of the public to always consult their doctors and take prescriptions to pharmacists. Nigerians should stop self-medication and ensure they take the full dose of their antibiotics when prescribed by doctors.”
He advised doctors and pharmacists to always source their antibiotics from top quality pharmaceutical manufacturers while also calling on the industry to invest more towards the discovery of new antibiotics.
In a keynote presentation, Senior Lecturer and Clinical Microbiologist at the Lagos State University College of Medicine, Dr. Bamidele Mutiu described antibiotics as the cornerstone of modern medicine which has been saving lives since the discovery of Penicillin, the world’s first antibiotic, in 1928.
Mutiu expressed concern that some bacteria have become resistant to virtually all available antibiotics over the years, adding that yet, no new antibiotic has been developed in the last 30 years.
“We are running out of effective antibiotics that we need to fight infections,” he added.
Speaking on the topic titled “Antibiotic Resistance in Nigeria: A Call to Action,” Mutiu cited different studies showing different levels of resistance to popular antibiotics.
“In Lagos, for instance, a study showed that some germs (bacteria) such as the Pseudomonias aeruginosa strains have become resistant to all available antibiotics in Nigeria at a very high level ranging from 45 per cent to 100 per cent.
“The result of such resistance is that physicians have to develop some ingenious ways to get their patients, who need such antibiotics, treated because more people are dying due to antibiotic resistance,” he added.