The extensive use of growth promoter Antibiotics in dairy and poultry feed is causing serious problem of Anti biotic drug resistance known as Extensive Drug Resistance (XDR) in human body in Pakistan, a letter written to Prime Minister by a pharmacist revealed.
Health authorities in Pakistan have reported an ongoing outbreak of XDR, typhoid fever, severe intestinal disorder and other diseases related to XDR and Salmonella. Salmonella is found in animals and causes typhoid fever.
In USA, Europe and other advanced countries of the World, the use of growth promoters Antibiotics in animal feed was discontinued from the year 2005 but it is still continued in Pakistan. The relevant department Punjab Food Authority is completely responsible for such violations in the Punjab Province.
Professor Dr. Javed Akram, President, Pakistan Society of Internal Medicines and Vice Chancellor, University of Health Sciences (UHS) when contacted said that extensive use of growth promoter antibiotics is on rise in Pakistan and PFA is fully responsible for this violation. PFA should take immediate action against the violators. He said that EDR widely known as XDR causes allergy, kidney failure, lever failure and many other diseases. He said that use of antibiotics and hormones is also hazardous to poultry workers.
It is worth mentioning here that due to outbreak of EDR disease in Pakistan, USA and European countries have already cautioned their travellers about the risks of EDR in Pakistan. This warning has significant adverse effect on tourism industry in Pakistan, the letter spoke.
It says, “Extensive use of antibiotics in Dairy and Poultry results in transfer of Antibiotic drugs from animal products such as milk, meat, eggs and by-products to humans and further causing EDR”.
Antibiotics are administered to ensure a safe passage and many times even the butchers offer antibiotics to birds. The instructions of withdrawal of antibiotics before specified time of marketing are not followed. Loose Antibiotics/ raw material, imported for use by pharmaceutical companies are directly supplied at animal farms. The farmers misuse such products without any authority or prescription.
Former General Secretary of Broiler Farmers Association Punjab, Major Muhammad Rifat Mehmood was of view that companies involved in sale of vet medicines have become mafia and nobody including Punjab Food Authority can check them to use extensive use of antibiotics in their medicines. All big firms are using Ciprofloxine which was banned by the Supreme Court of Pakistan but it is being smuggled from South Africa.
“Antibiotics save millions of lives annually, but the apparent ease and rapidity by which life-threatening bacteria such as S. Typhi can develop resistance severely limit their efficacy”.
As per WHO Salmonella Typhi causes typhoid fever, a life-threatening illness that affects more than 21 million people in the developing world.
The outbreak was immediately identified and Pakistani health authorities were made aware of the emerging ceftriaxone resistance. But the scientists warn that the findings demonstrate how quickly life-threatening bacteria can develop resistance. Around 250,000 children will receive doses of the Typbar-TCV vaccine, a conjugate vaccine that was recently prequalified by the World Health Organization. The vaccine has long-lasting immunity, requires only one dose, and can be given to children as young as 6 months.
The Pakistani government has already begun a mass vaccination campaign in Sindh province in response to the XDR typhoid outbreak, according to the WHO update.
Since August 2017, approximately 118,000 children aged 6 months to 10 years in Hyderabad have received the Vi-polysaccharide typhoid vaccine or the typhoid conjugate vaccine.
The government has also implemented water purification and sanitation activities, carried out community and school awareness campaigns on safe hygiene and sanitation practices, and created a national XDR typhoid taskforce.
When this scribe contacted spokesman for PFA Hafiz Qaiser Abbas was not available to comment. His cell remained unattended despite repeated efforts and leaving message on his cell numbers 03234640565 and 03349997111. When another PFA staffer Osama contacted and asked for Director General PFA Cell number said that only Hafiz Qaiser could do the same.