The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development has discovered heavy metals and antimicrobial resistance in meat products in the Federal Capital Terrotory, Abuja.
The NIPRD said a high consumption of such metals in meat could damage the kidneys, noting that the relevant authorities had been informed and further researches were on.
The NIPRD Director-General, Dr Obi Adigwe, stated this in an interview with our correspondent, saying “a significant amount of veterinary products tested were found to have Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus which were antibiotic resistant” in addition to the Lead heavy metals.
The DG said the heavy metals products “if taken at a high concentration would shut down the kidneys”.
Adigwe added that the institute was planning to do a country-wide survey on the veterinary products.
The DG said, “Our mandate is to ensure that Nigerians have better access to affordable health care. Also, we want to make these improvements sustainable. So, the research was undertaken by a crack team at NIPRD.
“The team, a few months ago, undertook a study where they sampled veterinary products in Abuja and some of these products and outputs were tested in our laboratories. So those veterinary products were tested in the laboratories and there were some alarming findings in them. A significant amount of the veterinary products tested were found to have Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus which were antibiotic resistant. One of the antibiotics they resist is Amoxicillin Clavulanic acid.
“Even more worrisome was the presence of heavy metals in those products. Antimicrobial resistance means that if you consume the meat and over time, your body gets used to those microbes, which are already resistant. The day you have an infection and then you take the antibiotics for which the microbe is resistant, the antibiotic will not work.
“However, on the heavy metals in the products, when they are taken in a high concentration, they can shut down the kidneys immediately. So that study identified a high level of lead which is very injurious to organs in the body. So that is alarming and we have written to the relevant authorities.”
Adigwe added that the institute was planning to partner other agencies to carry out the country-wide study and examine the rural areas particularly.