Ssentumbwe says the ministry will liaise with police to ensure professionals are manning the drugshops and also prescribing animal drugs across the country, not just in Kampala where operations have been carried out so far this year.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and
Fisheries-MAAIF says it will commence nation-wide operations by end of
the year to ensure veterinary doctors are the ones prescribing animal drugs in shops and pharmacies.
This is in line with the country's commitment to boost it's efforts against Antimicrobial Resistance-AMR.
resistance occurs due to misuse or overuse of drugs that treat against
disease causing agents, known as microbes, such as fungi, bacteria,
viruses and parasites.
Dr Juliet Ssentumbwe, the Director Animal Resources at MAAIF, says when animal or human drugs
are misused and overused, there is a change in genes of the microbes,
making it difficult for the drugs in circulation to combat them.
says the ministry will liaise with police to ensure professionals are
manning the drug shops and also prescribing animal drugs across the
country, not just in Kampala where operations have been carried out so
far this year.
This is because unregulated access and distribution of animal drugs is one of the factors fueling drug resistance in Uganda.
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added that drug resistance is fueled by absence of adequate
laboratories to detect and diagnose diseases and also farmers who use drugs without knowing the disease their animals such as poultry,
cattle, goats among others are suffering from.
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Ssentumbwe made the remarks on Thursday while receiving donations from the Infectious
Diseases Institute, based at Makerere University, with funding from the
United Kingdom. The institute has donated items including reagents for
the veterinary diagnostic laboratories in Gulu, Arua and Mbale and three
motorcycles to enable veterinary officers there to carryout
surveillance and sensitisation in communities and on farms.
says the donations are timely.
"We do not know the magnitude of
antimicrobial resistance in Uganda," she said. "So these donations will help us to
do a pilot study in Arua, Gulu and Mbale because they host regional
laboratories and results of the study will inform the ministry and
donors on how to proceed with the regional
laboratories in Mbarara, Lira, Masaka, Moroto and the rest of the country."
donations are part of the activities to mark the world Antimicrobial
resistance week of awareness. The week will run from November 18-24th
under the theme "Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance".
Ssentumbwe says some of the microbes are now resistant to certain drugs, including penicillin, in Uganda.
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however wants the pilot project in the three regional laboratories to
provide more accurate information about the problem of resistance and
also identify the affected drugs and perpetrators of misuse.
Wakimwere, the District Veterinary Officer at Mbale, says his
department will need additional funds to carry out the surveillance and
also maintain the donated motorcycle.
"Off-head calculations indicate
that we need close to Shillings 600,000 for fuel, lubricating oil,
servicing and replacing spare parts in a year," he said. "We do not have this money
currently because we even receive less than what we need to pay for
utilities every year."
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for Dr. Willy Nguma, the Arua District Veterinary Officer, his
department will be able to refuel and service the motorcycle with funds
allocated this financial year.
have been allocated Shillings 36 million and we are therefore able to
add expenses for the motorcycle without any difficulty," Nguma says. "After all, this
motorcycle will boost our surveillance capacity in the 13 districts we
says veterinary officers must consider curbing drug resistance as a key
priority because it will affect the environment, animals and humans.