NO one should supply antibiotics without a prescription, says Minister of Health and HIV/Aids Sir Puka Temu.
Sir Puka warned private and public pharmacies to stop the practice of giving antibiotics to people who failed to provide prescriptions. He was speaking during the launching of the National Action Plan for Anti-Microbial Resistance yesterday in Port Moresby.
He said the overuse of antibiotics could cause anti-macrobiotic resistance which was a health security issue around the world.
Anti-microbial resistance is when bacteria become stronger and adaptable to make antibiotics less effective or not effective at all.
“In the country we already have anti-macrobiotic resistance of tuberculosis (TB) where many people die from TB but we should not have any more deaths. Bacteria are smarter than people, they could be able to transform and become resistant to antibiotics.”
Sir Puka said anti-microbial resistance was a national emergency.
The launching of the national action plan was to commemorate the World Antibiotics Awareness Week from Nov 13-17.
Other countries have already implemented their action plans for anti-microbial resistance and PNG will be the ninth country to implement its national action plan next year.
The action plan is based on five strategic objectives to combat anti-microbial resistance which are to:
- Establish and ensure governance, sustainable investment and the actions to combat anti-microbial resistance;
- Improve awareness and understanding of anti-microbial resistance through effective communication, education and training;
- Strengthen surveillance, diagnostic capacity and research of AMR;
- Strengthen sanitation, hygiene and infection prevention and control across all sectors; and
- Strengthen appropriate access and optimise the use of anti-microbial medicines in human and animal health.