Antibiotic resistance poses one of most serious threats to health, food security and development (CNOPT)

Secretary General of the National Council of the Board of Pharmacists of Tunisia (CNOPT), Souraya Neifer, said that antibiotic resistance or antimicrobial resistance «poses, today, one of the most serious threats to health, food security and development.» Speaking to TAP, she underlined that the CNOPT collaborated with a group of partners to devise a national action plan so as to combat antimicrobial resistance over a five-year period from 2019 to 2023. «Although this plan was suspended for two years due to Covid-19 pandemic, some goals were achieved,» she added. She pointed out, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned stakeholders that «if no action is taken, millions of deaths might be caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria by 2050.» According to the WHO, antimicrobial resistance represents a growing threat to health and development. The situation requires urgent action to be taken in several sectors. The WHO added that antimicrobial resistance was one of the 10 biggest public health threats fac ing humanity. The misuse and overuse of antimicrobials is the main factor leading to the emergence of drug-resistant pathogens. Neifer underscored that the CNOPT is also collaborating with the Health Ministry, The Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fishery, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) and the world health organization in the national antimicrobial resistance development 2019-2023 to combat the spread of antibiotic resistance at all levels. She indicated that the plan successfully helped reduce the risks of these bacteria in humans and is now working to decrease antibiotic resistance in animals treated with antibiotics without supervision, sold in an anarchic manner and whose origin is unknown. Bacteria resistant to antibiotics can, therefore, be transmitted to humans through ingestion of contaminated food during the food production chain, or through direct contact with animals. Neifer welcomed the presence of a legislative framework which regulates distribution circuits, calling for avoiding self-medication, increasing social coverage and adopting preventive measures. The CNOPT, she said, has scheduled continuing training destined to pharmacists in 2024 on the theme of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the rationalization of the use of antibiotics. Source: EN - Agence Tunis Afrique Presse