Education Ministry urges NCDC to expand antimicrobial campaign
Gloria Essien, Abuja
The Federal Ministry of Education has urged the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control(NCDC) to take its campaign on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), nationwide.
Mr Peters Ojonuba, School Health Program, Federal Ministry of Education, made the call in Abuja, at the sensitization of students from selected private secondary schools in Abuja on antibiotic resistance and the thi.eat it poses to humans, animals and the environment, via puzzle, quiz, a spelling bee and a campaign speech.
Mr. Ojonuba said that the campaign should not be limited to selected private schools in the FCT only, noting that such should be expanded nationwide.
He also appealed to the organizers to include Doctors, Nurses and other Health Workers that operate within the school Health Service (school clinic and Sick Bays”
“To prevent and control the spread of Antimicrobial resistance, we can only use them when prescribed by certified health professionals, never demand antibiotics if your health workers says you don’t need them and to always follow your health workers advice when using antibiotics and other Antimicrobial medicines only when it is needed,” he added.
He added that student as changed agents have been made to be creative and innovative through the transformation of their skills into tangible products of value.
“They have also been developed and to imbibe the attributes of creativity such as fluency, originality flexibility, sensitivity, elaboration, divergent thinking and redefinitions, thereby contributing to the attainment of both National and international goals through competitions,” he added.
The event was as part of the activities to commemorate the 2021 National antimicrobial awareness tagged “Stop Resistance”.
The Antimicrobial Resistance Programme Coordinator, NCDC, Dr. Abiodun Egwuenu, said that the aim of the programme was to sensitize students in selected private secondary schools in Abuja on antibiotic resistance and the threat it poses to humans, animals and the environment, via puzzle, quiz, a spelling bee and a campaign speech.
Egwuenu added that students who stand out in each category would be featured on the National AMR newsletter and assigned roles as antibiotic champions.
She noted that the 2021 World Antibiotics Day aided a global health and development threat. Noting it requires urgent multi sectoral action to achieve that sustainable development goals (SDGs).
She said that the responsibility to preserve lives and the available antimicrobial agents lies with each and every one of us.
She noted that the risk that AMR poses was quite scary, which include an increase in cost of health care, treatment failure even with the most effective drugs and above all fatality.
She also called on Nigerians to take the necessary measures to fight this scourge.
“Nigerians can fight AMR through proper sanitation and hygiene, to rational prescription and dispensing of antimicrobials, avoiding self medication and adherence to prescribed medication till it is completed,”she advised.
The competitions was held to raise awareness about antimicrobial resistance, which is the ability of a microorganism like bacteria, viruses and some parasites to stop an antimicrobial such as an antibiotic or antiviral from working against it.
World Antibiotics Day was held on November 12 but the NCDC has continued with sensitization on the subject matter.