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ISLAMABAD: Health experts at a seminar have stressed the need for rational use of the antibiotics, saying antimicrobial/antibiotic resistance (AMR) could result in millions of deaths per year, if antibiotics are not used properly as prescribed by health physicians.

This was the consensus among the speakers who addressed the two-day consultative workshop organised by the United Kingdom (UK) Aid funded programme Fleming Fund Country Grant Pakistan.

The workshop is aimed at the capacity building of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) and to cover the basic concepts of antimicrobial resistance, its severity, and methods to estimate antimicrobial resistance.

The health experts revealed if the unnecessary use of antibiotics is not discouraged and stopped it will have serious consequences for the human lives, and by 2050 could claim 10 million deaths per annum across the world, due to the declining efficiency of various modern medications curing infectious diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

The workshop was attended by Asif Rauf, Chief Executive Officer (DRAP), Dr Ayesha Rasheed, Team Lead, Fleming Fund Country Grant-DAI, Hafiz Alam Sher, Provincial Pharmacovigilance Centre, Punjab, Dr Zikriya Saleem, University of Lahore, and Dr Huma Qureshi.

The objective of the training was to introduce the DRAP staff and staff of regional provincial regulatory bodies to the importance of antimicrobial resistance and the stewardship programs that can be established to cope with the issues related to this matter.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Abdur Rashid, Director DRAP Division of Pharmacy Services, stated: "We are facing hurdles in the data collection and surveillance system of AMR and with the help of DAI Fleming Fund DRAP believes we will be able to surpass this hurdle."

Dr Ayesha Rasheed, the Head of Fleming Fund Pakistan - DAI, while introducing the Fleming Fund Programme Initiatives, said that the fund has identified growing antimicrobial resistance AMR links to drugs.

She said that there is a need for comprehensive actions within "One Health" approach to efficiently tackle AMR.

She also presented the programme achievements and geographical presence in Pakistan.

The DRAP CEO, Asif Rauf, speaking on the occasion, said that providing good health facilities was the top priority of Pakistan and proper use of antibiotic was the most important part of saving lives. "We need to intervene with pharmacy and doctor's intervention," he said.

He added there are no quantitative data for infections and on bacteria in Pakistan.

"We all have to play our role or we will miss the opportunity to save precious lives," he said.

All the speakers highlighted the importance of AMR surveillance system, and agreed that involving entire chain of stakeholders from beginning and taking all partner for combating AMR can bring positive change in the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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