Government is developing a law regarding over-the-counter purchase of drugs for both animals and human beings, Dr. Optato Tashoroora Bariremura, the Principal Veterinary Inspector at the agriculture ministry has said
Dr. Bariremura made this revelation, during the just concluded World Antimicrobial Awareness Week at Rhino Hotel in the Nakasongola district.
The key component of the week has involved training farmers, health workers, and veterinary officers on how to curb the misuse of drugs.
Tashoroora noted that the ease with which the public accesses drugs in pharmacies and drug shops is one of the leading drivers of antimicrobial resistance in humans and animals.
Antimicrobial resistance is when bacteria, viruses, and parasites become immune to the drugs being used to fight them.
Some of the most abused and abused drugs in humans are antibiotics, and antivirals, which can be bought without a prescription from qualified medical personnel and veterinary officers, resulting in antimicrobial resistance.
He said, “Once the Bill has been passed by Cabinet, it will be tabled in Parliament. The law will help us regulate the sale and purchase of drugs for animals, humans, and plants and we hope that this can facilitate the reduction in overuse and misuse of drugs in the short and long term.”
Patrick Kamulegeya, a Senior Agriculture Inspector for Crop Pests and Disease Control at the agriculture ministry says also some of the pests such as fall armyworm, and Quelea birds which can destroy rice farms have become resistant to certain pesticides. As a result, farmers, local leaders, and the general public should stop misusing drugs so that viruses, fungi, bacteria, and parasites do not develop resistance to the first-line drugs. Otherwise, it will reach a point where no drug can treat these diseases, resulting in loss of life in humans and animals.
It is estimated that 10 million people could die globally as a result of drug resistance by 2050 double the figure reported worldwide in 2019.
“Farmers should wear personal protective equipment such as overalls, and gloves as they spray crops and animals otherwise chemicals can enter the body through the eyes and even the scrotum in males. A young man who works in a flower farm will start using Viagra and other boosters (like Mulondo) after six months because these chemicals affect erections and manpower, ” Kamulegeya says.