KAMPALA. Doctors have warned that the resistance to antibiotics or antimicrobials is getting worse after it emerged that the use of these medicines is expanding to poultry and livestock, not only to treat diseases, but also to stimulate growth.
The doctors, who were speaking at the second global network for antimicrobial resistance and infection prevention symposium in Kampala, reiterated the World Health Organisation’s fears that when micro-organisms become resistant to antimicrobials, they are often referred to as “superbugs” as this could lead to death.
Dr Henry Kajumbura, the head of the department of microbiology at the Institute of Public Health at Makerere University, highlighted the dangers of antimicrobial resistance and warned that resistance occurs naturally but is facilitated by the inappropriate use of medicines, for example using antibiotics for viral infections such as flu.
Dr Kajumbura added: “The impact is made worse when the faecal matter of these animals and birds is absorbed by the soils, plant life ingests the antimicrobial medicines further strengthening the resistance cycle.”
Dr Merlin Willcox, another doctor from the University of Southampton, said the use of antibacterial medicines in farming was banned in England and other nations should follow suit.
Dr Henry Mwebesa, the director General Health Services Ministry of Health, who was the chief guest, revealed that the ministries of Health, of Wildlife and Antiquities, of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries and that of Water and Environment have joined forces to develop a plan to fight antimicrobial resistance in partnership with foreign partners.
The conference under the theme: ‘Innovations towards combatting antimicrobial resistance’ ended last week.
explained that antimicrobial resistance increases expenditure and today, out-of-pocket health expenditure is at 47 per cent. But we first saw this with resistance to antimalarial drugs which saw us move from Chloroquine to Fansida and later to artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT)
The court order followed an application in which Ms Kaigomba is accused of interfering with the court process to block two orders.
Documents indicate that on February 13, the court issued an interim restraining Mr Odima, Mr Opachet and Mr Odima and their agents from interfering with, threatening or in any way obstructing Mr Gecgil’s possession, use of surface rights and mining activities on land at Tiira Village, Sukuda Sub-county in Busia District.
Through his lawyers, Mr Gecgil sued the three persons for breach of a 2015 surface rights contract which the two parties entered for 25 years to allow the investor carry out farming and mining activities.
Court documents indicate that upon being served with the court order, the trio ran to Ms Kaigomba who in turn directed her juniors to block the investor from accessing the site and she opened criminal charges against Mr Gecgil.
In a February 15 letter to Ms Kaigomba, the Police director of legal services, Mr Erasmus Twaruhukwa, said the facts surrounding the matter are civil and that criminal liability cannot be imputed since the contention is subject to adjudication in the High Court.
“However, for purposes of clarity and transparency, the investigations in the matter shall proceed and on completion, the directorate of public prosecutions shall advise on the way forward. This case must be investigated exceptionally professional, not only to restore and boost investor but also show that the laws of the country must be complied with, which ever shall be applicable,” reads the legal advise.
Court documents indicate that instead, Ms Kaigomba ordered for impounding of three trucks carrying golden dust and on February 21, the Court in Mbale ordered for the release of impounded trucks in vein.
“In order not to continue with the illegality of violating the court order, the forth (Musinguzi) and fifth (Kaigomba) respondents are ordered to remove police from applicant’s mining site in Tiira and hand over the same to the applicant,” ordered Ms Mwandha directing the Regional Police Commander to ensure immediate withdraw of the police men.
When contacted, Ms Kaigomba declined to comment on the matter referring this reporter to the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
“I will not be intimidated because I am working for government and not my firm. Those guys are thieves and I am looking for them for arrest,”
said Ms Kaigomba without divulging the matter.
Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga said in a telephone interview that a complaint related to the case has been forwarded to the Inspector General of Police.
When contacted, Mr Alex Luganda one of the lawyers representing the investor confirmed the developments describing the police’s action as a move to frustrate investment and job creation.
“This is an investor who pays taxes and employs more than 100 local people. This is on top of the huge sums of money already spent to acquire the land and equipment worth more than $4m,” said Mr Luganda adding that the investor is now threatened with the impunity of the police officer who has not only defied court orders but also her seniors.