By Margaret Kalekye/Release
Kenya is supporting the establishment of an inter-agency coordination group to ensure sustained effective and coordinated efforts to combat Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and to identify suitable options for sustainable financing.
Health Cabinet Secretary, Antimicrobial Resistancesaid Kenya backs the Political Declaration of the General Assembly’s High Level meeting on AMR and looks forward to working with partners in actualization of the set principles and recommendations.
“We call upon all partners to work together in a transparent manner to develop new models to finance the development of new antimicrobials and diagnostics. There is necessity to secure and commit funds needed to implement these mechanisms to overcome the challenges of antimicrobial discovery and development,’’ he argued.
According to the 2015 Global Action plan on Antimicrobial resistance, AMR “threatens the very core of modern medicine and the sustainability of an effective, global public health response to the enduring threat from infectious diseases.”
An estimated 700,000 people die globally each year from drug-resistant strains of common bacterial infections, HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria.
The annual death toll could reach 10 million by the year 2050, with low- and middle-income nations bearing much of the burden.
That figure includes 200,000 newborns who die from infections that don’t respond to antibiotics.
Dr. Mailu made the remarks when he read the national statement at the plenary session of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on Antimicrobial Resistance on Wednesday at the UN Trusteeship Chamber.
Research has demonstrated that a continued rise in antimicrobial resistance would lead to 10 million people dying every year and a 3% reduction in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by the year 2050.
The CS emphasized the need for capacity building, technology transfer, and technical assistance as means to control and prevent AMR especially for developing countries.
He observed that Kenya is backing the “one health” multi-sectoral approach in the fight against antimicrobial resistance and is in the process of putting in place an Anti-Microbial Resistance Policy, a National Action Plan and a Surveillance Strategy on antimicrobial resistance from a ‘One Health’ perspective.
As part of its wider strategy to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the CS said the country has initiated collaboration between the Ministries of Health and Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and appointed a multidisciplinary National Antimicrobial Stewardship Advisory Committee to oversee AMR policy development and implementation.
‘’The committee will also play a vital role in continuous stakeholder mapping to ensure inclusivity of all players in the effort to combat antimicrobial resistance,’’ he empathized.
Other efforts to combat anti-microbial resistance in the country include implementation of robust pharmacovigilance and post market surveillance systems that monitor the quality of anti-microbials in the market through the National Medicines Regulatory Authority.
He added that within the framework of the National Action Plan, Kenya has completed a multi-sectoral situation analysis on AMR which focused on data from the burden of AMR on public health and agricultural sector; data on practice and behaviour of public health practitioners, veterinarians and farmers and review of existing policies, regulations and legislation, in order to rationalize anti-microbial use and promotion of evidence-based practices.