Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, has warned Nigerian farmers to desist from the use of antibiotics to promote growth in animals.
He said only pharmaceutical companies should be responsible for the marketing, supply and distribution of antimicrobials.
The minister handed down this warning in Abuja while declaring open the 2021 World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) organised in collaboration with Breakthrough Action Nigeria.
Speaking on this year’s theme, “Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance”, the minister said Nigerians must join hands together to stop inappropriate use of antimicrobials and embrace the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic and practice appropriate hygiene to reduce the spread of germs and the necessity for antibiotics.
It is estimated that by the year 2050, Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) could account for 10 million deaths globally, out of which about four million, representing 40 per cent is estimated to occur in Africa.
To address the misuse of antibiotics, the minister said relevant professionals, such as veterinarians, physicians, nurses and other human and animal health workers should use antimicrobials responsibly and prudently.
Speaking at the flag-off, deputy project director, risk communication, Breakthrough Action Nigeria, Dr Olayinka Umar-Farouk, said Antimicrobial Resistance remain a menace that all must fight.