Delegate Name: Ethan Ellis
Committee: WHO ECOSOC
Topic: Antibiotic Resistance
Delegate: Ethan Ellis
School: Williamston High School
Antibiotic resistance happens when germs develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. Antibiotic resistance is accelerated by misuse and overuse of antibiotics. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can cause harder to treat infections than those caused by non-resistant bacteria. History of antibiotic-resistance goes back to the early 20th century. Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928. In 1940, before penicillin was introduced as a therapeutic, a bacterial penicillin was discovered by a penicillin research team. Once the drug was widely distributed, several other restraint strains capable of inactivating the drug became prevalent. Some infections that have antibiotic-resistant strains are pneumonia, tuberculosis, blood poisoning, gonorrhea, and food-borne diseases. The National Library of Medicine conducted research on public awareness of antimicrobial resistance in Nigeria. In 2009, they reported an emergence of a community associated methicillin-resistant Staph infection in southwest Nigeria. They also reported a rapid evolution of fluoroquinolone-resistant E-coli in a Nigerian community. A study was also conducted on a group of Nigerian university students. The study showed that the university students had a high consumption rate of antibiotics. The students mostly obtained their antibiotics from unofficial sources, and without a physician’s prescription.
Nigeria considers antimicrobial-resistance (AMR), to be a high priority on the national public health agenda. The Nigerian Center for Disease Control has been leading the charge to spread the word of AMR. In 2016, the NCDC investigated common antimicrobial-resistant pathogens recovered from hospital, animal, agricultural, and environmental sources. The NCDC also conducted reviews on prescribing methods of antimicrobials to assess any patterns. These efforts formed the National Action Plan (NAP). The NAP has a five year focus in mind (2017-2022), and wants to address what they call the five key pillars in consonance with the WHO Action Plan on AMR. The five key pillars include increasing awareness and knowledge to health workers and the general public on AMR, intensifying infection prevention and control and biosecurity, promoting rational use of antimicrobials and access to quality medications, and research into alternatives antimicrobials. Since Nigeria is still a developing country, there are still many diseases linked to inadequate hygiene, improper sanitation, and improper waste disposal. Another reason people are quick to take antibiotics in Nigeria is the fear factor. Many patients fear that their infections will get worse if they don’t immediately take antimicrobials. It is also cheaper to take antibiotics than to wait long hours and spend more money taking lab tests or consultations. The fear factor is also large in the agriculture/ animal health sector. Farmers that care for crops or livestock depend immensely on the payout of their labor because this is where they make all of their money. Therefore, they are willing to do whatever it takes to secure the best investment they can. Many farmers administer antimicrobials daily or weekly to their crops or livestock in fear of losing them before a sale. For example, a chicken farmer might give his chickens antimicrobials to boost their health and increase the egg size. The farmer can have healthy chickens while increasing his payout.
Nigeria will resolve the issue by increasing awareness and knowledge of AMR to health care workers and the public. Nigeria will make sure that people can only obtain antimicrobials by prescription from a doctor. Nigeria will also increase sanitation cleanup to help stop the spread of dangerous pathogens. Nigeria will monitor the development/progression of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, as well as come up with new medications to substitute antibiotics when needed. Nigeria proposes that doctors should not fall into peer pressure from a patient requesting antibiotics for an illness, when they know it is not the right thing to do. Nigeria hopes to find allies in Germany, Turkey, and Singapore. These are countries that promote rational antibiotic use, education/training, surveillance, and research.