Nzurumike Chimdiadi P.

The Antimicrobial Stewardship Committee of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku/Ozalla, Enugu in conjunction with the departments of microbiology and Pharmacy collaborated with the World Health Organization (WHO) to observe world AMR week, which began on 18th and lasted till 25th Nov. 2023, theme: Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance together.

The initiative commenced with a courtesy visit to Prof Joy Eze, the Acting Chief Medical Advisory Committee (C’MAC), where the WHO team, led by Dr. Adaeze Ugwu, WHO State Coordinator (SC), was present. The C’MAC praised the team’s leadership and emphasized the paramount importance of raising awareness. Notably, other health professionals from diverse departments actively participated in the awareness campaign.

Members of WHO with Dr. Nwafia at the CMACS office during the courtesy visit.

During this week-long celebration, there was an impactful educational outreach endeavors in a secondary school. This involved enlightening young girls on the responsible use of antibiotics, aligning with the global initiative to combat antimicrobial resistance collectively.

Underscoring the significance of this collaborative venture, the commemoration of World AMR Day at UNTH, in association with WHO, emerges as a beacon of hope in the global battle against this urgent health concern. The exhibited collaborative efforts underscored the critical need for continuous awareness and united action to safeguard the effectiveness of antibiotics for the well-being of future generations.

A pivotal moment in the awareness campaign involved visits to various hospital clinics, led by Dr.Nwafia Ifeyinwa N.,Consultant Clinical Microbiologist, UNTH AMS team leader, and Dr. Onodugo Chinenye I., Deputy Director of Pharmacy, Secretary of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Committee highlighted the perils of antibiotic misuse. This laid the groundwork for the Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness Week, which unfolded energetically on November 22, 2023, with a focus extending to key departments, including Medical Outpatient (MOP), Surgical Outpatient (SOP), and the Family Medicine Department.

Dr. Adaeze Ugwu, WHO State coordinator (SC)

Associate Prof. Ezeofor, a Deputy Medical Advisory Committee Member, played an integral role in the awareness team. She added her voice to the campaign against antibiotic misuse, advising responsible medication intake according to a doctor’s prescription and strongly discouraging self-medication, particularly with antibiotics.

The substantial support of WHO was evident through the participation of a distinguished team:

– Dr. Adaeze Ugwu: WHO State Coordinator (SC)

– Dr. Ikechukwu Chidolue: State Technical Assistant Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (STA IDSR) / AMR Focal Point

– Dr. Chris Akpa: State Surveillance Officer (SO)

– Alefech Gizahagn: STOP Consultant

– Chiamaka Ekeoba: STA HPV Vaccine introduction

Dr. Adaeze Ugwu, the WHO State Coordinator, underscored the vital role of collaborative efforts in addressing the growing menace of AMR.

Dr. Ikechukwu Chidolue, as the State Technical Assistant, highlighted the integration of disease surveillance and response in combating AMR.

Alefech Gizahagn, a STOP Consultant, emphasized the importance of strategic intervention to curtail the spread of drug resistance.

In a statement, Chiamaka Ekeoba, the STA for HPV Vaccine Introduction, emphasized the interconnectedness of various health initiatives in building a resilient healthcare system.

The collective commitment demonstrated during World AMR Day at UNTH serves as a model for global collaboration, emphasizing the urgency of tackling antimicrobial resistance collectively and proactively. The event rounded up with a radio program at Radio Nigeria, where Dr. Nwafia continued the awareness and education for the general public on the 25th of Nov, 2023.