19 November 2023 | Abuja, Nigeria - Nigeria Joins the Global Community to Commemorate World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW)
Every year, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) directly causes 1.27 million deaths and is associated with an additional 3.7 million deaths. Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) including Nigeria bear the brunt of this burden, accounting for nearly 90 per cent of the direct death toll. Sadly, over 99.5 per cent of AMR–related deaths are among children under five. Recent studies show that more people die directly from AMR than from HIV/AIDS, malaria, or any one form of cancer other than lung cancer. In Africa, the burden of death attributed to AMR was highest in western Africa, at 27.3 deaths per 100,000 making it a super region for death due to drug-resistant pathogens. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 15 priority antibiotic-resistant pathogens causing the greatest threat to human and animal health and 4 of them have been detected in Nigeria.
The impact of AMR on the economy, health systems and the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is enormous. Up to US$100 trillion of global gross domestic product could be lost due to AMR by 2050, and the LMICs would be most negatively impacted. Antimicrobial agents are essential for food security and the global consumption of antimicrobials is projected to rise by 70% by 2030 and will affect sustainable food production systems if nothing is done.
Since 2017, Nigeria has made strides in its response to AMR. Led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) in collaboration with the tripartite sectors, there is now an AMR surveillance network, antimicrobial stewardship, and awareness programmes across the country creating awareness of AMR among healthcare professionals, farmers, and the public.
Fulfilling its commitment as agreed to at the Third Global High-level Ministerial Conference on AMR in Muscat, Oman, Nigeria is currently finalising its second National Action Plan for AMR (NAP 2.0) in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders to determine required finances, applicable milestones, and national targets, including the Sustainable Development Goal indicators on AMR in the human health sector, and adopting a One Health approach.
Nigeria has done the following:
Inaugurated the National One Health Steering Committee co-chaired by Ministers from all relevant One Health stakeholders.
Included more stakeholders in the AMR technical working group for better collaboration.
Deployed a national Community of Practice for stakeholders in the AMR response space.
Expanded AMR surveillance sites in Nigeria in the human, animal and environmental sectors.
Established a national antimicrobial stewardship programme.
This year, during the Joint external evaluation of international health regulation core capacities, Nigeria, AMR was rated as having an average score of 2.4 points out of 5, indicating that more action is required to combat this challenge.
Every year, the National Antimicrobial Resistance Technical Working Group (AMR-TWG) joins the global community to raise awareness of the dangers of misuse or overuse of antimicrobials and promotes collaboration across sectors to preserve the efficacy of these critical medicines. Fighting AMR is truly a global endeavour that must be addressed through a One Health approach. To effectively curb this menace, all sectors must join forces and encourage the prudent use of antimicrobials and preventive measures. This is also evident in this year's theme of WAAW 2023 which is ‘Preventing antimicrobial resistance together”. NCDC as well as our ministries, agencies and partners are celebrating by conducting a few activities across various states in the country. They are:
Press briefing to flag-off WAAW 2023 with partners from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Federal Ministry of Environment, and other one-health stakeholders.
Media awareness campaign across all platforms.
A social media AMR pledge campaign using the #AMRactionNG #WAAW2023.
Sensitisation activities in health facilities across 7 states.
Awareness campaign among school children.
Awareness talks at religious gatherings.
Virtual session on AMR survivors with the conversation led by the Chairman Community of Practice on AMR - One Health Global Leader - H.E. Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu)
We continue to urge Nigerians to handle antimicrobials with care by doing the following:
Seek professional consultation to conduct a laboratory test to guide the use of antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents, e.g., antimalarials for yourself, your family, your pets and other animals you care for.
Complete the dose of antibiotics as prescribed by a licensed health worker or veterinarian in the case of use on animals.
Farmers must observe withdrawal periods for animals of food origin before slaughtering.
Do not share or use leftover antibiotics.
Dispose of leftover antibiotics properly.
Practice hand hygiene and environmental sanitation consistently.
Vaccinate your family, children, and animals appropriately.
The Federal Government of Nigeria remains committed to contributing to the global response to AMR and sustaining advocacy towards the responsible use of antimicrobials guided by a one-health approach.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) is the country’s national public health institute, with the mandate to lead the preparedness, detection, and response to public health emergencies. The Bill for an Act to establish NCDC was signed into law in November 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari. The mission of the NCDC is to protect the health of Nigerians through evidence-based prevention, integrated disease surveillance and response, using a One Health approach, guided by research, and led by a skilled workforce.
NCDC Toll-free Number: 6232 | SMS: 08099555577 | WhatsApp: 07087110839 Twitter: @NCDCGov | Facebook: @NCDCgov | Instagram: @NCDCgov | NCDC Media Releases
Dr Ifedayo Adetifa
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.