The Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, has said the cause of infant mortality among children under five years in Nigeria was Anti-microbial resistance (AMR) related.
The NCDC director made this known in Abuja on Monday, at the national flag-off event in commemoration of the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) 2023, which is marked from November 18 to 24 every year.
The WAAW 2023 celebration themed ‘Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Together’ was a call for all sectors to join forces and encourage the prudent use of antimicrobials and preventive measures.
“Every year, anti-microbial 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 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,” Dr Adetifa stated.
Hafsoh Isiaq is a graduate of Linguistics. An avid writer committed to creative, high-quality research and news reportage. She has considerable experience in writing and reporting across a variety of platforms including print and online.