In my previous blog post I talked about poor drug compliance as one of the biggest challenge we have towards antimicrobial resistance. Moreover, doctors, veterinarians and farmers are also to blame for this. Despite the doctors being on strike, am still going to call out some of them who give the profession a bad name.
Some doctors often fail to take a good history when examining their patients and therefore end up giving the wrong diagnosis or underdosing, consequently administering the wrong prescription all together. All these things ultimately lead to antimicrobial resistance.
Veterinarians too, are not off the hook. As we know food animals also get sick and honestly there’s no big difference between the drugs used for humans and animals. The same way we have zoonotic diseases that cut across, we have similar drugs, just different concentrations. These drugs normally have a certain number of days in which it gets excreted by the body of the animal. This period in which the drug has not been fully excreted from the body is known as the withdrawal period. In this period the animal should not be slaughtered for meat or milked because the drug can also be excreted through milk. Most veterinarians forget to mention this to the farmer.
The farmer too is to blame because, despite knowing the withdrawal period some greedy farmers still milk from sick and recovering animals as well as slaughtering them. When you eat this meat or drink the milk containing residual antibiotic, you expose yourself to antimicrobial resistance. How? Because you are slowly exposing yourself to low doses which cause the microorganisms in your system to become more tolerant and hence resistant.
All in all, this crisis is a cycle that involves many disciplines and therefore should be considered as a public health threat. The Kenya Bureau of Standards should step in here in Kenya to ensure that foodstuffs availed to Kenyans is safe.