Stop escalating antibiotic resistance or perish
Nearly 70 per cent of salmonella infections in Kenya do not respond to the most widely available antibiotics, killing 45,000 children yearly, yet the United States and the United Kingdom record no death by the bacteria. Infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and typhoid — both highly prevalent in Kenya — are primarily treated with antibiotics and, with increasing resistance levels, treating them is gradually becoming more difficult.
While the UN’s Global Tuberculosis Report states that Kenya is on track to reach the 2020 target of a 20 per cent reduction in cases and deaths, the escalating antimicrobial resistance (AMR) trend threatens this.
To tackle inappropriate use of antibiotics and forestall the spread of AMR, we need to take three urgent steps: Better fund and implement the Kenya AMR National Action Plan, improve on leadership and accountability for progress, and get all players to work in partnership.
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