THE Federal Government of Nigeria has warned Nigerians against buying antibiotics over the counter, without prescription.
Federal government said it accelerates antimicrobial resistance and leads to avoidable deaths.
The FG made this known on Friday at a press briefing to commemorate World Antimicrobial Awareness Week with the theme ‘Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together’.
The government said the consequences of AMR can affect both human and animal health.
It noted that AMR is one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity and has inhibited the effective treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi.
AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. As a result, the medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others.
Speaking at the briefing, the Chair, Nigeria Antimicrobial Resistance Coordination Committee, Dr. Tochi Okwor said buying antibiotics without prescription fuels antimicrobial resistance.
She said, “The dangers of buying antibiotics over the counter are many. You are not sure if the antibiotics you are buying is the right one for what is wrong with you. For you to be sure of the antibiotics to take, your sample has to be taken in the lab and it is in the lab that the organism causing the infection is known.
“How do you know the dose to take? Who monitors the dosage you take? You have to be advised on the dose to take and you have to be monitored by an expert.
“The best way to take antibiotics is to go to the hospital, have a health worker check you and take your sample, have your result come out in a timely manner and use what we call antibiotics formulary, we have guidelines of antibiotics to prescribe according to the specific guidelines.”