From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin
A Professor of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology at the University of Ilorin, Professor Charles Nwabuisi, has called on the federal government to ensure retraining of antibiotic doctors to fight the spread of antimicrobial resistance in the country.
Nwabuisi, who stated this while delivering the 154th Inaugural Lecture of the University, entitled “Antimocrobials and Bugs: The Survival Game”, said, “there are significant gaps in the knowledge about antimicrobial resistance in our environment, as most health care workers are not even aware of the superbugs, not to talk of the general populace”.
The don who cautioned that antibiotic stewards must be trained and re-trained, and encouraged to abide with the principle of proper antibiotic stewardship, said that necessary regulations be evolved and enforced to control the un-regulated on-the-counter sale and counterfeit antimicrobials with expired date and little or no active ingredients.
The inaugural lecturer, who expressed concern over the lack of active surveillance programme on antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance in the country, said that there was no state or national data on the types of multi-drug resistant organisms in the country.
He said, “This situation, has greatly affected our understanding of the magnitude of the risks posed by the emergence and spread of antimicrobial-resistant organisms to our health as a nation.”
Nwabuisi called for the institution of active monitoring of resistance patterns for the control of resistant pathogens, adding that “Standard Molecular Laboratory is also needed for the detection and effective monitoring of resistant organisms with strong efforts to locate it regionally.”
The don also called for intensified training and retraining of infectious diseases physicians and scientists who will be able to assist in the tracking and control of resistant pathogens.
This, according to him, could be effected by external collaboration for short or long periods of attachment abroad depending on need.
“You must take antibiotics or other antimicrobials only when and as prescribed. Lastly, insist that everyone attending to you wash their hands before touching you. ”, he advised.