KMA Cautions the Public on Over the Counter Antibiotic Usage during WAAW 2022

The Kenya Medical Association (KMA), the parent body for doctors in Kenya, held an Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) symposium in commemoration of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) that began on 18th November to last till 24th November, 2022.

KMA through its public health committee works to advocate for better health systems and policies to guide implementations of the same.

KMA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Brenda Obondo addressed the threat of antimicrobial resistance as a key global health priority and the responsibility of every country’s health ecosystem as a whole.

She added that the results of the resistance manifest themselves not just in the impact on human health, but also in veterinary practice and agriculture.

Obondo also acknowledged that the Ministry of Health is making great strides through the AMR coordination mechanism in embracing and implementing the One Health Approach which is encouraging more research, collaborations, stewardship efforts and greater public awareness.

“We have contributed to the prevention of antimicrobial resistance through member education, sensitizing our patients, playing an advisory role to the Ministry of Health through participation in various working groups and actively participating in the world antimicrobial awareness weeks over the years,” said Obondo.

She maintained that KMA strongly discourages Kenyans from Over the Counter antibiotic usage and urged them to seek medical consultation from a licensed medical practitioner.

The CEO also stated that they are committed to working with relevant stakeholders towards supporting all 47 county hospitals to become centers of excellence for antimicrobial stewardship.

“As we make a commitment to deliberately work with all stakeholders, we continuously reference existing policies and legislation that ensure a foundation on which to lay the overarching principles that guide our efforts,” stated Obondo.

KMA’s other commitments were encouraging and educating association members towards engaging in antimicrobial stewardship approaches focused on best practices in infection prevention, use of diagnostic tools, prudent prescribing and continuous education of the public on infection management and control.

The KMA called upon the National Government to provide access to funding for routine surveillance and for continuous research on AMR.