Zimbabwean farmers have turned to the habit of feeding Anti-Retroviral drugs (ARVs) and antibiotics to their livestock so that it grown fatser. This is according to "sensational" claims from Zimbabwean doctors across the country as they have raised concern about this.
The net effect of this is that humans increasingly grow resistant to conditions like HIV/AIDS and also diseases such as anthrax and rabies which are cross-transmitted to humans.
According to NewZimbabwe.com, it was determined that some people had become resistant to Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) due to consuming meat coming from animals and chickens that were fed with drugs and co cotrimoxazole - which is an antibiotic for humans with HIV mostly.
The situation has compelled the World Health Organisation (WHO, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Animal Welfare and veterinary services department to sit down together and pave a way forward as far as addressing this health matter is concerned. They held a meeting in Victoria Falls last week to this effect.
For these authorities, the fact that livestock is being fed on ARVs is a deeply unsettling matter. FAO livestock officer Dr Nkululeko Dube expressed his concerns regarding the matter.
"People use tablets like ARVs, cotrimoxazole and other antibiotics to feed their chickens so they genetically grow faster. Eating such meat makes us resistant to medicines because these antibiotics are not meant for animals but people. When we feed on meat from these animals, we develop a resistance to medicines,” said Mr. Dube.
He made the emphasis that the issue is on striking a balance as regards the relations between humans and animals. He said that there should be co-existence between humans and animals. From their discussions, they made mention of the fact that diseases like rabbis and anthrax were now affecting humans who eat meat from affected animals before end of withdrawal period.
For a country that is bedeviled with a biting and excruciating health crisis, these health hazards should be thwarted with the right co-operation of the people for their overall good welfare. The lack of harmony between the people and the animals is a cause for concern that poses serious threats to the health of the people.
Authorities also noted that the new trend of humans being affected by animal diseases should be carefully examined and put to an end.
ARVs are given to people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and over the years they have significantly increased longevity in the lives of those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.
Header image credit - AllAfrica