Story, Louvier Kindo Tombe
The necessity to improve human health, animal health and agricultural productivity in low and middle income countries has led to the extensive use of antimicrobials without respecting therapy guidelines. Ignorance of the hazards related to antibiotic therapy and the widespread use of antimicrobials has escalated the emergence of antimicrobial resistance.
“Antimicrobial Resistance, if left unchecked, could lead to a scenario where minor infections become life-threatening and severe infections become impossible to control and treat,” says Dr. Sylvie Kounde, Chief Medical Officer for French-Speaking Sub Saharan Africa at Pfizer.
Dr. Sylvie Kounde was speaking during the virtual roundtable of Wednesday February 25, 2023 that brought together 40 journalists from four countries (Cameroon, Cote D’ivoire, Senegal, Burkina Faso).
The World Health Organization (WHO) global report on AMR indicates that resistance of common bacteria has reached alarming levels in many parts of the world with an estimated 700.000 deaths per year. The impact has placed it among one of the top public health problems worldwide. It is challenging the prevention and treatment of common bacterial infections. According to Pfizer, a continued increase in Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) could claim the lives of 10 million people worldwide each year by 2050.
A statement from the company at the end of the roundtable indicates that AMR is certainly a silent killer, but it is real and therefore urgently need to be addressed.
“Antimicrobial Resistance is a critical risk if left untreated,” Prof. Guessennd-Kouadio Aya Nathalie who delivered a presentation during the roundtable said.
“If the AMR pathogens spread like COVID 19 did, we will face another public health crisis.”
The media personalities who attended the virtual roundtable were told that Antimicrobials are among the most valuable medical resources the world has ever known.
“But it is alarming that they are losing their effectiveness,” Prof. BAMBA-PAKOTOGO Sanata said in her presentation of the roundtable.
“Given the low public awareness of the dangers of AMR, it is the responsibility of the medical community to educate patients about the alarming situation,” she said, adding that “it is important to institute public health prevention and surveillance measures to curb it’s spread”.
The roundtable organized by Pfizer including similar forums was very essential in raising awareness of the threats faced if governments and the public health community do not invest now to prevent AMR.
The pharmaceutical and biomedical company (Pfizer) strongly believe that governments and the Public Health community must work with industries to support actions that will drive continued innovation in the development of new antibiotics and vaccines to curb the spread of Antimicrobial Resistance.
“Pfizer remains committed to providing effective new therapies that target new, emerging, difficult-to-treat infections,” Dr. Sylvie Kounde said.
“In 2020 alone, 28 million patients were treated with anti-infective treatment from Pfizer – a number that is constantly growing.”
Worth noting is the fact that the more an antibiotic is used, the more chances bacteria have to develop resistance.
Social and economic challenges of infectious diseases cannot be over emphasized following the COVID 19 pandemic which has starkly reminded humanity of these difficulties.
The good news is that AMR is reversible.
Pfizer has always and continue to apply science and global resources to bring people treatments that dramatically extend and improve their lives. They strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacturing of healthcare products, including innovative medicines and vaccines.
Every day, Pfizer colleagues work in developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. In line with their responsibility as one of the world’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical companies, they work with healthcare providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable and affordable healthcare in the whole world.
For over 150 years, they’ve worked to make a difference for everyone who counts them.
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