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Nyeri County forms team to tackle drug resistant bacteria

By Lydia Nyawira | March 28th 2019 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

The county has set up a team to tackle drug resistance following reports of a new strain mastitis in some parts of Mathira Constituency.

The committee, which is made up of professionals from the medical and agricultural sector, is expected to create public awareness on drug- resistant bacteria.

It is also expected to address misuse of antibiotics in humans and livestock, which is blamed for developing drug resistance.

The department for livestock said confirmation of a drug resistant strain of mastitis — a bacterial infection that causes inflammation to the udder in dairy cattle — was a warning on the need to tackle the issue urgently.

During the first meeting of the committee yesterday, Governor Mutahi Kahiga said more human and livestock diseases worldwide were becoming resistant to modern medicine.

“Drug-resistant bacteria haunt hospitals and intensive care units; there are reports that gonorrhea and tuberculosis are now becoming resistant to multiple drugs,” he said.

Mr Kahiga called for more research and public involvement in tackling drug resistance and warned against over-prescription and self-prescription for both human and livestock diseases.

“Misuse of antibiotics can arise from over-prescriptions, easy access to over- the-counter drugs and self-prescription,” he said.

Acting county executive for Agriculture, Robert Thuo, said the committee would improve surveillance and monitoring of cases of drug resistance.

“There is a close link between drug resistance to certain diseases in humans and the over-prescription of drugs in livestock,” he said.

One approach the team plans to use is getting the medical and agricultural sectors to work together to prevent the spread of drug resistance.

According to Thuo, misuse of drugs in one sector affects all other sectors.

“Laboratory diagnosis is going to be crucial in ensuring that doctors and veterinarians prescribe the right drugs for certain ailments,” he said.

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