I often have problem with promoters of task shifting in low-resourced countries like Nigeria, where the specialists and professionals in the areas that are task-shifted have not even been able to do the very least of what is expected of them. One wonders the magic the least trained could do in an environment that is so harsh and challenging to the trained. Antimicrobial resistance is a very big issues, no doubt, but what have we done to mitigate it in the low resourced environments? While the development of new drugs has become imperative, it is sad to note that even the evidence-based practices that have the capacity to bring down or slow the resistance development rates are rarely practised in most of our hospitals. These simple but efefctive and efficient practices include antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention and control, both of which incorporate education as a key ingredient. Till date not many doctors and pharmacists could explain what antimicrobial stewardship is all about. While we are not substantially able to engage in new drugs research and devenlopment, we must as a matter of necessity and urgency put into practice those things that have been found to work. We need funding to educate and train our people on these evidence-based practices. Sadly, most of the funds from development partners are spend on unproductive meetings and programmes of their interest which hardly bear musch relevance to the needs of our people or our health practice environments. Whoever, wants to assist us should allow us dictate we need that assistance. Task shifting is the least of our challenge, if at all it is.
Dr Kenneth C. Iregbu MBBS, MSc, MPH, FMCPath, FWACP (Lab Med) Consultant Clinical Microbiologist/Parasitologist & Infectious Diseases Physician National Hospital Abuja, Nigeria 234- 805 493 2992
HIFA profile: Kenneth C Iregbu is a Consultant Clinical Microbiologist at National Hospital Abuja, Nigeria. Professional interests: Infectious diseases, Diagnostic Microbiology, Research. keniregbu AT yahoo.co.uk