February 2, 2023

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Pfizer Gathers Experts in Nigeria to mark World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

4 min read
Pfizer’s position is that governments and the public health community must work together with industry to take further action and support measures that will enable continued innovation in the development of new antibiotics and vaccines to help curb the spread of AMR.
A continued rise in AMR could take 10 million lives globally each year by 2050 – more than currently die from cancer.1
AMR is a silent threat, but it is already here, and it urgently needs to be addressed.2
Nigeria, 17 November 2020: To mark the occasion of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, held between 18-24 November each year, Pfizer hosted a virtual media roundtable to raise awareness about antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Attended by medical professionals Professor Abdulrazaq Garba Habib and Professor Aaron Oladipo Aboderin, the roundtable saw participants discuss the dangers of AMR, besides what can be done to address and prevent AMR.  AMR occurs when antibiotics lose their effectiveness as pathogens find ways to resist their effects.
The more an antibiotic is used, the more pressure bacteria have to develop resistance.1 A silent killer, AMR is one of the biggest threats to global health today. Today it accounts for 700,000 deaths annually,2 and by 2050 it could take 10 million lives globally each year – more than currently die from cancer.
Professor Abdulrazaq Garba Habib, commented: “Antimicrobial medicines are amongst the most precious medical resources the world has ever known.3 Alarmingly, they are losing their effectiveness.1 With especially low awareness among the public on the dangers of AMR, it is our responsibility as the medical community to educate patients about the condition. Much like COVID-19, AMR pathogens can spread far and with speed, impacting people of all ages.4 There is a significant need for strong public health and prevention measures and extensive surveillance to help curb its spread.”6
Professor Aaron Oladipo Aboderin, commented: “With a high cost to individual health and the wider economy, AMR is a critical risk if left unaddressed. Should AMR pathogens spread the way COVID-19 has, we will be facing another public health crisis. Today’s roundtable and similar forums are essential to raising awareness of the threats facing us if we do not invest in the development of medicines now to help prevent AMR.”3
Dr. Kodjo Soroh, Medical Director East & Anglo West Africa Pfizer, commented: “AMR if left unchecked could lead to a scenario in which minor infections become life-threatening, while serious infections become impossible to treat. Despite the many challenges associated with developing anti-infectives, at Pfizer, we remain committed to our R&D efforts to deliver new and effective anti-infective therapies which target newly emerging and difficult to treat infections. Despite this, Pfizer remains committed to patients suffering from infectious diseases. In 2020 alone, 28 million patients were treated with a Pfizer anti-infective therapy – a number we expect to grow in the future.”5
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder of the social and economic hardships of infectious diseases. It reinforces the continuous need for new innovations and breakthroughs.4
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About Pfizer: Breakthroughs That Change Patients’ Lives
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety, and value in the discovery, development, and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments, and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments, and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us.
Media Contacts:
FleishmanHillard
Jai Tolani
+971 55 8211998
Media Contacts:
Pfizer West Africa
Oluwayemisi Mafe
1. Review on Antimicrobial Resistance. Tackling drug-resistant infections globally: final report and recommendations. May 2016. Available at:
2. World Health Organization. Antibiotic resistance factsheet. July. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/antibiotic-resistance Last accessed September 2021.
3. Review on Antimicrobial Resistance. Tackling a crisis for the health and wealth of nations. December 2014. Available at: https://amr-review.org/sites/default/files/AMR%20Review%20Paper%20-%20Tackling%20a%20crisis%20for%20the%20health%20and%20wealth%20of%20nations_1.pdf Last accessed September 2021.
4. Clancy CJ, Buehrle DJ, Nguyen MH. PRO: The COVID-19 pandemic will result in increased antimicrobial resistance rates. JAC Antimicrob Resist. 2020;2:dlaa049.
5. Pfizer annual review 2020. Available at: https://annualreview.pfizer.com/files/Pfizer-Annual-Review-2020_Interactive-PDF.pdf Last accessed September 2021.
6. Pelfrene E, Botgros R, Cavaleri M. Antimicrobial multidrug resistance in the era of COVID‑19: a forgotten plight? Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2021;10:21.

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