Minister of Health Hon. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, has warned that resistance to antimicrobial – an agent that kills microorganisms or stops their growth — is one of the worst emergencies facing humanity and threatens the Sustainable Development Goals.
The minister further warned that Antimicrobial resistance is a threat to health workers, to the future of medicine and requires a multi-disciplinary approach since it affects animal health, environment, agriculture and trade.
“Antibiotic resistance will decrease the ability to treat infections and illnesses in people, animals and plants and it will lead to increased human illness, suffering and death,” she said.
The global deaths attributable to antimicrobial resistance are projected to rise from the present 700,000 to about 10 million annually by the year 2050.
The minister, while speaking during the opening of the 3rd National Antimicrobial resistance conference and launch of the Uganda National Action plan for AMR that took place at Hotel Africana, revealed that Uganda spends an estimated $4,000 to treat a patient with resistant T.B as opposed to the cost of USD 250 for a patient with non-resistant T.B.”
“The World Bank estimates that antimicrobial resistance could drive up global healthcare costs by between 300 billion and 1 trillion dollars. The World Bank also estimates that by 2050, antimicrobial resistance could lead to a decline in animal productions by up to 7.5% and increase extreme poverty by up to 28 million people by 2050,” she said.
“We ought to look at these medicines as an exhaustible resource that should be accessible to those that need it but jealously protected against excessive use”.
“In many of our heath care facilities, drug shops and homes, we continue to use antibiotics in an unregulated manner, offering a chance for resistant organisms to proliferate”.
“The situation is probably worse in the animal production where antimicrobials are used as growth promoters, with the sector accounting for more than 80% of all antimicrobials used globally”. She said.