ISLAMABAD    -   National Institute of Health (NIH) is set to start Antimicrobials Resistance (AMR) activities across the country to promote awareness about antibiotic resistance among all sectors, a statement said on Thursday.

The statement released said that NIH in collaboration with national and international partners is celebrating Antimicrobials Resistance (AMR) week from 18-24 Nov 2020. 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 death. As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines become ineffective and infections become increasingly difficult or impossible to treat. The NIH has planned and is implementing a series of activities across the country to sensitise the issue of AMR and to promote the correct usage of antibiotics across all fields in order to prevent further instances of antibiotic resistance.

Executive Director of NIH, Prof. Maj. Gen. Aamer Ikram said that it is the collective responsibility of all stakeholders to combat AMR catastrophe. He emphasised benefits and safe use of antibiotics and how its misuse is a real threat for all forms of lives on the earth. Under one health concept, this increasing concern is serious as there is excessive and unnecessary use of antibiotics in human, animal and agriculture fields.

In our country, there is unnecessary use of antibiotics and over the counter sale of antibiotics is seen. He said, “We are currently going through a pandemic COVID-19 and like COVID-19, the AMR is considered as silent pandemic”. It is much needed to design strategies to overcome the injudicious and unnecessary use of antibiotics, he added.

Dr. Muhammad Salman, National Focal Person on AMR, said that there is need of coordination among all health stakeholders to work collectively on this issue.

He said that XDR Typhoid in Hyderabad and Larkana in Sindh is not only a provincial problem, but we consider it a threat for all the country. The Government of Pakistan has developed a national action plan to control AMR in all sectors of society and it is the time to take concrete measures to tackle AMR issues including XDR Typhoid outbreak with collective responsibility.