The three-phase strategy targets the prudent use of antimicrobial drugs, said Minister of Health and Population Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar at a press conference on Monday.
The first phase extends for three days as of Monday and includes several workshops on the rationalisation of antimicrobial agents. The events are held with the participation of 1,000 pharmacists at 227 public hospitals nationwide, the minister added.
The second phase will run for two months and targets carrying out “quantitative and qualitative monitoring” of the use of antibiotics in hospitals as well as spotlighting the economic burden resulting from the excessive use of antimicrobials. The collected data is to be analysed to produce recommendations.
“This phase will be the largest monitoring process for antibiotics in Egypt,” Abdel-Ghaffar pointed out. The final phase spans 3-6 months and will gauge the gains of applying the strategy, the minister added.
Egypt has been launching campaigns and programmes to raise awareness about the risks of the excessive use of antimicrobial agents – which include antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, and antiparasitics – especially without medical prescriptions.
Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites that cause an infection in human bodies change over time and no longer respond to medicines.
This renders antimicrobial medicines ineffective and infections harder to treat, increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness, and death, according to the World Health Organisation.