President discourages frequent use of antibiotics

By Staff Reporter
Thursday – February 11, 2021
ISLAMABAD: The president Arif Alvi said, Wednesday, that the unnecessary use of antibiotics pose serious health challenges requiring the change of attitude by medical practitioners and society as a whole and added that the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has further highlighted the issue of rising antibiotic resistance.

According to a press release, he expressed these views during a meeting with a delegation of Fleming Fund Grant (FFG), led by the British high commissioner to Pakistan, Christian Turner, which called on him, at the presidential palace, in the federal capital.

President Alvi called for introducing massive changes to the present practice of frequent use of anti-microbial agents in human, animal and environmental sectors.

According to scientific research, the antibiotics are used against bacteria and anti-fungals are used against fungi.

He said that Pakistan is currently struggling to deal with several drug-resistant epidemics and informed that the government of Pakistan (GoP), including all provincial health and livestock departments, are committed to play their role in global disease control programme and stand by the global community in the effort to reduce anti-microbial resistance (AMR) burden.

According to scientific research, the 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 disease spread, severe illness and even death.

The delegation gave a presentation to highlight the contributions and support, made by FFG, in strengthening Pakistan’s health system’s capacities through improved integrated disease surveillance programmes.

The delegation briefed that AMR poses a grave threat to human lives as 10 million people could die every year globally from drug-resistant infections, with 90 percent of these deaths may occur in Africa and Asia.

The delegation apprised that FFG had conducted assessments of 25 national and provincial laboratories in Pakistan to strengthen their microbiology capacities.

The delegation further briefed that the FFG had been working extensively to improve provincial level capacities in monitoring and managing AMR, including anti-microbial usage.

President Alvi appreciated the efforts and financial support worth £9 million provided by the FFG to Pakistan to address the threat of AMR.