By Christian Benard

The World Animal Protection has warned against self-prescription, sharing of antibiotics, failure to complete full doses of antibiotics and uncontrolled purchase of antibiotics.

In its report ahead of the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW), the organization shows that inappropriate use of antimicrobials and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are growing global concerns.

In a statement, Dr. Victor Yamo, Farming Campaigns Manager, World Animal Protection, said, “The main objective of this study was to explore levels of Antimicrobial Resistance knowledge and prescribing practices among veterinary and human drug vendors, farmers and the public across 19 counties in Kenya.”

The study showed that antibiotics were the most sold products in 58% of agrovets and 43% of phamacies interviewed as antibiotic sales contributed significantly to total revenue in both stores, 38.8% in phamacies and 30% in agrovets. On the other hand dairy and poultry farmers were reported as the most frequent consumers of antibiotics, at 49.6% and 38.9% respectively.

“Knowledge and practices related to antibiotics among respondents showed significant gaps and this needs an urgent effort to mitigate such practices,” said Dr. Yamo.

“A concerted effort is urgently needed to sensitize the need for responsible use of antibiotics in human and animal health. Farmers need to shift from low welfare practices in which antibiotics are misused to cover up poor welfare and adopt higher animal welfare standards that ensure animals live a healthy life.”

Misuse of antibiotics at farm level is being driven predominantly by poor welfare in production systems.

“If we improve welfare of animals in production systems, we will then be in a position to minimize use of antibiotics and at certain levels we can get rid of it,” said Dr. Yamo.

“The reason why we are celebrating the week is to create awareness on prudent use of antibiotics because they are critical and important in managing disease conditions both at human and animal level.”