The Executive Director of the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) says the health and well-being of livestock and animals are of paramount importance.
Ben Nangombe emphasised that the responsible use of veterinary medicines plays a crucial role in maintaining the health and productivity of the agricultural sector.
In a speech read on his behalf at the Rescheduling of Veterinary Medicine stakeholder consultations workshop in Windhoek Nangombe, he noted that the stakeholders meeting is a significant step in the ministry's ongoing efforts to ensure the effective and safe regulation of veterinary medicines.
"The scheduling of medicines and related substances is an important determinant for the accessibility, availability, and rational use of medicines in humans and animals. Failure to regulate the availability and rational use of medicines, especially in low and middle-income countries, has been implicated as a contributing factor towards the development of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)."
He also pledged the ministry's commitment to the robust implementation of the action items regarding the rescheduling of veterinary medicines and related substances that will emerge from the workshop.
The stakeholders' workshop is necessitated by an urgent need to sustainably address antimicrobial resistance, which is recognised as a key global challenge affecting human, animal, plant, and environmental health.
AMR happens when microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites change when they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs.
As per the current classification of medicines and related substances, most medicines intended for veterinary use fall under Schedule 0, which means they may be sold in an open shop.
The three-day workshop will review the current schedule of veterinary medicines and the proposed schedules made by the Namibia Medicine Regulatory Council.