APP17-100221 ISLAMABAD: February 10 - President Dr. Arif Alvi in a group photo with a delegation of Fleming Fund Country Grant Pakistan at Aiwan-e-Sadr. APP

ISLAMABAD, Feb 10 (APP): President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday called for introducing massive changes in the present practice of frequent use of anti-microbial agents in human, animal and environmental sectors.

He said that the unnecessary use of antibiotics posed serious health challenges requiring the change of attitude by medical practitioners and society as a whole.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had further highlighted the issue of rising antibiotic resistance, he added.

The President expressed these views during the meeting with a delegation of Fleming Fund Grant, led by British High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr Christian Turner here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

He said that Pakistan was currently struggling to deal with several drug-resistant epidemics.

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The President informed that the government of Pakistan including all provincial health and livestock departments were committed to play their role in global disease control program and stood by global community in the effort to reduce anti-microbial resistance (AMR) burden.

The delegation gave a presentation to highlight the contribution and support made by the Fleming Fund, in strengthening Pakistan’s health system’s capacities through Improved Integrated Disease Surveillance Programs.

The delegation briefed that AMR posed a grave threat to human lives as 10 million people could die every year globally from drug-resistant infections with 90% of these deaths to be occurring in Africa and Asia.

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The delegation apprised that the Fleming Fund had conducted assessments of 25 national and provincial laboratories in Pakistan to strengthen their microbiology capacities.

The delegation further briefed that the Fleming Fund had been working extensively to improve provincial level capacities in monitoring and managing AMR, including anti-microbial usage.

The President appreciated the efforts and financial support worth £9 million provided by the Fleming Fund to Pakistan to address the threat of AMR.