Antimicrobial resistance a concern globally: Botswana President
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President of Botswana Mokgweetsi Masisi said Wednesday that Botswana, like the rest of the international community, is worried about the emerging problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Speaking at the official opening of the 25th conference of the World Organization for Animal Health Regional Commission for Africa in Gaborone, Botswana's capital, Masisi said the country has not been spared the horrendous effects of AMR, saying a clear example is the occurrence of multidrug-resistant strains of tuberculosis.

"In this regard, the Government of Botswana is establishing a Public Health Institute which will coordinate public health emergencies and emerging health risks including zoonosis and AMR," he said.

The president believed a major driver of AMR is the systemic misuse of antimicrobials and lack of good quality medicines. "It is important for us as a region to acknowledge it as a huge problem so that we can begin to address it," he said.

Masisi said for this reason, the region has made a lot of progress in improving the governance of medicines including establishing national regulatory authorities, harmonizing registration to improve access to good quality medicines and monitoring antimicrobial use in animals.

The president indicated the Government of Botswana has implemented a monitoring program for residues of veterinary medicines, pesticides and contaminants in animals, animal feed and animal products, and the measure will soon be extended to other food commodities.

The conference on animal health began on Feb. 21 and will conclude on Feb. 24.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency

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