Veterinarians wage war on antimicrobial use in poultry

Veterinarians and other doctors in Bangladesh have launched a renewed war against the development of antimicrobial resistance in poultry to commemorate World Veterinary Day on Apr 28.

Published : 29 April 2018, 07:27 AM
Updated : 29 April 2018, 07:27 AM

The doctors are playing a leading role alongside other specialists as part of the Bangladesh AMR Response Alliance or BARA, a community of medical professionals working under the One Health initiative to prevent the development of antimicrobial resistance.

AMR, or antimicrobial resistance, is the resistance that microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites, can develop to antibiotic treatments. The improper use of antimicrobials in Bangladesh for treatment of humans and animals can spread this resistance and render antibiotic treatments useless.

AMR is a global threat which does not discriminate and can have fatal consequences for anyone unless urgent significant behavioural changes are made primarily by doctors of all animals, including humans, BARA said in a statement.

"We (veterinarians and physicians) have started our war against the sporadic and unnecessary use of antimicrobials in the livestock and poultry industry, as well as in the human sector, and we are united,” said poultry veterinarian Dr Paul Sattwikesh of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University.

A three-day training programme was organised by BARA to educate veterinarians and other doctors and medical specialists on the proper use of antimicrobial medicine.

“Yesterday I finished a three-day long CPD training on AMR. It was really a new and excellent experience for me. I have started my veterinary practice 20 years back but to be honest just yesterday I came to know the actual or rational use of antibiotics,” said poultry veterinarian Dr Bayzer Rahman.

The programme raised awareness regarding antibiotic use in the poultry industry and the dangerous effects mishandling such chemicals can have.

“Before this workshop I didn’t know about the wide use of critical antibiotics in the poultry industry,” said BIRDEM Hospital Deputy Director Dr Nazimul Islam.

It has also inspired some participants to take direct action.

“It is a matter of joy to announce that today afternoon I have finished a 3-day training programme on AMR and after coming to my upazila, I have discussed the issue of AMR with some dealers, chemists and representatives of some pharmaceutical companies. I was successfully able to make them understand the dangerous effects of different antibiotics. They assured me that they will not use antibiotics haphazardly,” said Upazila Livestock Officer Dr Shakhawat Hossain.

BARA has developed a set of guidelines on antimicrobial use for animal and human doctors, which is the first of its kind globally, the organisation said in a statement.

BARA currently has 128 members, including doctors from renowned institutions such as icddr,b, BIRDEM, and Square Hospital.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher