Nigeria, 13 African countries restricted from testing resistant pathogens

Multi-country research on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Africa says most labs across Africa are not ready for AMR testing. It goes on to say that only a fraction can evaluate AMR despite the looming crisis of drug-resistant pathogens.

The study’s finding, released at the African Union meeting, indicated that only five of the 15 antibiotic-resistant pathogens identified as priority pathogens by the World Health Organization (WHO) are consistently tested in Nigeria and 13 other countries south of the United States. the Sahara. In addition, all five showed high resistance.

The multi-year, multi-country survey conducted by the Mapping Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Use Partnership (MAAP), which reveals a lack of laboratory capacity and erratic use of available antibiotics, said that only 1.3% of the 50,000 medical labs operating the lab networks forms of the 14 participating countries carries out bacteriological tests.

MAAP assessed 819,584 AMR records from 2016 to 2019, from 205 labs in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Eswatini, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Gabon and Cameroon. It also reviewed data from 327 hospital and community pharmacies and 16 AMC data sets nationally.

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According to the study, just four drugs accounted for more than two-thirds (67%) of all antibiotics used in healthcare. Stronger drugs to treat resistant infections (such as severe pneumonia, sepsis and complicated intra-abdominal infections) were not available, indicating limited access to some classes of antibiotics.

In the 14 countries, clinical and treatment data are not linked to laboratory results, making it difficult to understand the driving force behind AMR.

According to the Africa CDC AMR Program Coordinator, Dr. Yewande Alimi stated, “This discrepancy between patient data and antimicrobial resistance outcomes, coupled with the extreme burden of antimicrobial resistance, makes it incredibly difficult to provide accurate guidelines for patient care and broader public health policy. Therefore, the collection and connection of laboratory, pharmacy and clinical data will be essential to provide a baseline and reference for public health actions.”

dr. Ramanan Laxminarayan, director and president of One Health Trust, noted that the study was a significant step forward for the African health system, adding that the future of modern medicine and Africa’s ability to control antimicrobial resistance, depends on the ability to reliably treat infectious diseases.

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