By LULU MARK
THE misuse and abuse of antibiotics in PNG should stop in order to prevent antimicrobial resistance (AMR), Health Department secretary Pascoe Kase says.
In his address to participants of the first national AMR forum in Port Moresby yesterday, Kase urged human health, animal health and environment sectors to take a unified stand against the global public health threat which required local interventions.
He said AMR was a behavioural change in the disease causing microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites that defended themselves from the antimicrobials such as antibiotics and other medicines that were meant to kill them.
He said AMR was a major concern because it resulted in prolonging the disease, increased healthcare cost for the individual and society, disability and even death.
“Every country is affected by IMR which causes 700,000 deaths every year worldwide,” he said.
“The multi-drug resistance tuberculosis (TB) is a classic example of AMR in PNG. “
Kase said the Government was committed to combating AMR through a one-health approach, therefore the national action plan 2019-2023 on it was signed by the Health and Agriculture and Livestock departments, the Conservation Environment Promotion Authority (Cepa) and National Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA).
He said the ARM secretariat under Health Department through the pharmaceutical standards service branch would coordinate this.
By LULU MARK