Trends in the use of antibiotics in the veterinary sector in Mozambique and efforts to contain it

The country imports most of its veterinary antibiotics from the Netherlands, India, Argentina, South Africa, France and China

In recent years, the growth and expansion of veterinary activity has been witnessed throughout Mozambique. This has come with the consequent proliferation of establishments that provide veterinary assistance services as well as the sale of veterinary drugs and products due to the increase in the number of herds, especially the poultry farming area by the sector. family.

This sector has limits in the respect of Good Production Practices, from the point of view of biosecurity in its facilities. Thus, the occurrence of infections is frequent, which requires the use of antibiotics.

The authorization to enter drugs for veterinary use into the country is preceded by the registration of the company with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and an import license application from the Authority. veterinary. The import of veterinary drugs is carried out by the private sector, in accordance with the requirements set out in the specific legislation.

The main international companies supplying pharmaceuticals to Mozambique are Aviourem Specialties Pharmaceuticals, Bayer, Bupo Animal Health, Interchemie Werken, Intervet, Kepro, Kyron Laboratories and MSD Animal Health.

Most of the imported antibiotics come from the Netherlands, India, Argentina, South Africa, France and China.

The active ingredients of the most imported antibiotics are oxytetracycline hydrochloride, sodium sulfadianine, doxycycline hyclate, erythromycin thiocyanate, tylosin tartrate, sodium sulfaquinoxaline, streptomycin sulfate, penicillins and enrofloxacin. All are intended for animal use. Oxytetracycline hydrochloride is the most imported.

Regarding classes of antibiotics, the largest import is made up of the group of tetracyclines, sulfonamides, penicillins and macrolides.

Classes of antibiotics imported into Mozambique

Source: World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)

Total active ingredients imported into Mozambique (2018-2020)

Source: OIE

Efforts to contain the use

The country has normative instruments aimed at the control and prudent use of antimicrobials, some of which are in force and others still awaiting approval by the competent authorities.

1. National form of veterinary medicinal products

It is a normative instrument which describes essential veterinary products, designated by:

  • Generic names or international nonproprietary name
  • Recognized pharmacological classification
  • Active subtances
  • Route of administration
  • Indications of target species
  • Dosage
  • Contraindications
  • Side effects
  • Other important information for the knowledge of users.

Its objective is to serve as a practical tool for consulting professionals with a view to the proper administration of drugs to animals.

Generally speaking, only drugs, including antibiotics, mentioned in the National Veterinary Medicines Formulary can be authorized to be manufactured, imported, distributed and sold in the country. Currently, this form, dated 1986, is being updated.

2. National Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Action Plan

The plan was developed according to the “One Health” approach, a multisectoral effort among the fields of man, animals, environment, fisheries, agriculture, academic and research institutions, professional associations and cooperation partners.

The vision is to ensure the wise use of antimicrobials in humans, animals and to reduce the presence of antimicrobials in the environment. This plan includes six strategic interventions to fight AMR, improving both prevention and access to and use of antibiotics for humans and animals:

  1. Improve awareness and knowledge of AMR, and educate public and animal health professionals
  2. Reduce the incidence of infections through effective vaccination, sanitation, hygiene and prevention, and infection control
  3. Build knowledge through surveillance and ensure sustainability through funding and research
  4. Improve access to antibiotics to treat infections
  5. Optimizing the use of antibiotics in human and animal health
  6. Changing the incentives that anchor the overuse of antibiotics and enforce their rational use

An important aspect for reducing the indiscriminate use of antibiotics is to systematically and continuously strengthen the training of animal health professionals in antimicrobial resistance, with an emphasis on programs for the administration of antibiotics in combination with antimicrobial resistance. rapid diagnostic technologies. It is also important to invest in vaccination of livestock and infection prevention and control to reduce the consumption of antibiotics.

3. Animal health regulations

In accordance with this regulation, the use of hormones and growth promoters in animal production, including antibiotics, is prohibited.

4. Regulatory proposal for drugs, drugs and veterinary products

It provides for aspects linked to the delivery, which suppose that medicines, medicines, including antibiotics and veterinary products subject to veterinary prescription and intended for farm animals, can only be dispensed to the public on veterinary prescription.

Other government efforts

In order to provide better technical guidance to herders who buy drugs, all establishments that sell veterinary drugs, including antimicrobials, must have a technical director, a veterinarian, registered with the veterinary statutory body of Mozambique.

A One Health platform has been created in the country, with two working groups – one for zoonoses and the other for AMR. The RAM group is made up of three sub-groups: Infection prevention and control; optimization of the use of antimicrobials (stewardship); antimicrobial resistance.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Down to earth.

About Hector Hedgepeth

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