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General News of Wednesday, 11 April 2018


GHC21m needed to implement 5-year Action Plan on ‘Antimicrobial Use and Resistance’

The Minister made this known at the launch of the National Action Plan and Policy on Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Accra Wednesday.

According to Mr. Agyeman-Manu, the launch of the policy and the action plan is part of efforts toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) three.

The Minister reiterated his outfit’s readiness to “immediately” execute the policy which comes with an implementation plan, through partnership with other Ministries and stakeholders in order to achieve its intended goals.

“As the lead ministry, I am confident we’re moving straight to implementation, together with my colleague Ministers, as well as all stakeholders. Through the positive mechanism we use indicates we need about 21 million to implement the policy for a 5-year period,” he said.

The implementation of the policy, according to him, has become necessary as it is significant to safeguarding the health of citizens and the development of the country.

He said, “Implementation of the policy will bring a lot of benefits to us as a country; Food security will be assured, food safety will be assured...”

About Antimicrobial Use and Resistance

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is the ability of a microorganism (like bacteria, viruses, and some parasites) to stop an antimicrobial agent (such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials) from working against it.

As a result, standard treatments become ineffective in both humans and animals; infections persist and may spread amongst people and animals. Further implications of AMR are potentially untreatable infections, expensive and more challenging treatment alternatives, excessive burden on social health interventions like health insurance, transfer of resistant bacteria to humans, huge loses in animal production, high cost of controlling infections on farms, to mention a few.

The excessive use of antimicrobial agents in food animals, as well as traces of antimicrobial agents in waste material from various sources such as hospitals, farms and industry (which end up in the food chain), promotes AMR.

AMR affects every country including Ghana and every person who would require treatment for infections. This makes the management of AMR a serious issue for all.

Research has revealed that the misuse of antimicrobial agents is a major contributor to AMR. The range of diseases common to persons in Ghana includes infectious diseases, which would be treated with one antimicrobial agent or the other.

Practices such as sharing prescribed antibiotics with other people, self-medication with antibiotics, stopping treatment with antibiotics midway when you feel better, not storing antibiotics properly, or using it in animals and poultry without expert advice must be frowned upon and stopped.

It is also known that not many new antibiotics are being developed; and sometimes after huge investments to develop a new antibiotic, microorganisms get resistant in a very short time. This implies that society must be a good steward of the existing antimicrobials for current and future generations.

Government, through the Ministries responsible for health, agriculture, fisheries and environment, has made efforts to mitigate the impact of AMR on all persons living in Ghana.

The MOH embraced the ReAct (Action against antibiotic resistance) project to support national efforts at combating AMR. Sustained commitment from several stakeholders in all affected sectors such as health, agriculture, fisheries, and environment, has led to the development of a multi-sectoral AMR policy for Ghana, with a 5-year National Action Plan, which seeks to bring together all stakeholders to work towards health security, food safety and environmental safety.

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