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Kenya launches policy on combating anti-microbial resistance   

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Ministry of Health on Monday launched a policy on prevention and containment of antimicrobial resistance to help promote prudent use of antimicrobial agents.

Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu said the policy will ensure that there is continued successful treatment and prevention of microbial diseases.

“We are going to make safe antimicrobials effective and quality accessible to patients in need,” Mailu told journalists during the launch in Nairobi.

According to reports from hospitals and communities, the east African nation is experiencing rising rates of antimicrobial resistance among infections that contribute the most to human disease.

Antimicrobial resistance, one of the most significant global public health problems, is rising in many developing nations due to overuse of antimicrobial agents, widespread availability of counterfeit or substandard medicines, and poor infection control measures.

Research has demonstrated that a continued rise in antimicrobial resistance globally would lead to 10 million people dying every year and a 3 percent reduction in gross domestic product (GDP) by the year 2050.

According to a March 2016 survey, Kenya is already experiencing high levels of antimicrobial resistance.

Many patients are experiencing such resistance that renders many available antimicrobial regimens like penicillin and cotrimoxazole ineffective against common infections.

“With the increasing levels of international travel and trade, antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global public health, food security and development,” Mailu said.

He noted that this year’s World Antibiotic Awareness Week is aimed at enhancing public awareness of the increasing threat of antibiotic resistance and the need to enhance appropriate rise of antibiotics.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently warned of the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria that are rapidly spreading across the globe, threatening the world’s ability to treat common infectious diseases.

The WHO noted that an increasing number of infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, drug poisoning and gonorrhea are now becoming harder and sometimes impossible to treat as antibiotics become less and less effective.

Kenya’s Ministry of Health is partnering with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries in consolidating efforts toward implementing sustainable measures in mitigating further emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance.



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