• Agriculture Ministry Takes Measure To Ensure Prudent Use Of Antibiotics

    Reporter: Dayyan Mikhail
    Published: Wednesday, 28 February 2018
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    PUTRAJAYA: Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry is taking numerous measures to ensure the prudent use of antibiotics in the animal and livestock sector.

    Its minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the ministry especially the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) has been taking numerous steps to create awareness in the battle against antibiotics resistance in the country.

    He said the industry uses antibiotics for the purpose treating the animals and as growth agents.

    The DVS, he said, has also set a withdrawal period for antibiotics used on livestock for the purpose of treatment.

    "Antibiotics cannot be given to livestock two weeks before it is scheduled to be sold in the market.

    "This is to ensure there are no side effects or antibiotic resistance in the animal which can be transferred to humans when consumed," he added.

    Shabery said the DVS are constantly monitoring livestock farms and livestock processing plants.

    If antibiotic residues are found in the livestock or farm produce, owners of the farms and plants will have their license suspended and the premises will be seized, he added.

    The ministry, together with the Health Ministry, have jointly launched the Malaysian Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2017-2021 and the One Health Antimicrobial Resistance Seminar at the Putrajaya Islamic Complex on Tuesday.

    The action plan is aimed to create awareness on the responsible use of antibiotics.

    Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam, who was also present at the event, said the action plan outlines strategies and activities taken by all agencies involved in managing the worrying increase of antibiotic resistance in the country.

    "Antibiotic resistance is an occurrence where antibiotic used on humans and animals are no longer effective in treating a disease or an infection.

    "In the human health sector, the occurrence could cause difficulties in treating diseases and also increase the spread of diseases to others. It could also cause death and increase the cost of healthcare," he added.

    He said one worrying example is the emergence of Plasmid Mediated Colisitin Resistant (MCR-1), which is a resistance to Colistin antibiotic, considered the last resort.

    "There are eight cases reported at several hospitals in the northern, central and east region of Malaysia until Jan this year," he added.

    Dr Subramaniam also explained that doctors and medical practitioners in the country have been advised to observe the prudent of use antibiotics.

    "We have many guidelines which outline medical practitioners to be careful in prescribing antibiotics to their patients. Sickness such as common colds does not need antibiotics.

    "In Malaysia, we also prohibit the sale of antibiotics over the counter at any pharmacies or clinics," he added.

    Based on global studies, approximately 700,000 people die every year due antibiotic resistance and the number is projected to increase 10 million people in 2050 if the use is not controlled, Dr Subramaniam added.-NST


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