The Ministry of Health has raised alarm on the increase of antimicrobials resistance among children saying one in five deaths in children below five is caused by resistance of bacteria and viruses to medicines.
Antimicrobials resistance is the leading cause of death globally, higher than HIV/AIDs or malaria.
Antimicrobial resistance occurs when disease-causing organisms undergo adaptive changes that enable them to withstand antimicrobials.
In essence, antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines.
Medicines that destroy disease-causing microbes, also called pathogens, such as certain bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi are called antimicrobials.
The most familiar and important antimicrobials are antibiotics, which treat bacterial infections.
As a consequence, this makes infections harder to treat and increases the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.
According to the ministry, overuse and misuse of antimicrobials have caused avoidable AMR emergence and spread.
As a result, antimicrobial agents are rapidly losing their effectiveness in both developing and developed countries.
This was said on Friday as Kenya commemorated the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week under the theme ‘Preventing antimicrobial resistance together’.
The day aims to create awareness on AMR and encourage best practices on the use of antimicrobial agents among the general public, health workers, agriculturalists, environmentalists and policy makers.
Globally, at least 1.27 million people die per year due to AMR, with the highest rates of AMR burden being in Sub-Saharan Africa according to the Global Research on Antimicrobial Resistance report 2022.