Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, the Minister of Health, on Monday said everyone, including health workers, must get involved in the antibiotic resistance campaign and urged the public to adhere to the simple best practices to prevent further re-occurrence.
He said antibiotic resistance had come about due to many complicated factors and needed to be tackled holistically.
The Minister said this in a speech read on his behalf at the launch of this year’s World Antibiotics Awareness Week (WAAW) on the theme: “Think Twice. Seek Advice,” in Accra.
It was organised jointly by the Ministry and the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), Organisation of Food and Agriculture, World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and Hope For Future Generation, a Civil Society Organisation.
WAAW is celebrated every year in November to increase global awareness of antibiotics resistance and to encourage best practices among the public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.
Mr Agyeman-Manu said the major cause of resistance had been attributed to irresponsible use including incorrect medical indications, inappropriate self-medication, non-adherence to therapy, over-the-counter sale of antibiotics from unlicensed pharmacies and unapproved outlets and inappropriate use in animals across all sectors.
“When antibiotics are obtained and used inappropriately, selective pressure is brought to bear, favouring the emergence of resistance strains. Without urgent action, we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, where common infectious diseases will pose a challenge to treatment,” he added.
“For Ghana, this phenomenon could have dire consequences on the poor and vulnerable as well as the affluent. Thus, effort at controlling and containing resistance have been designed from a broad perspective as well as within the framework of regional and global networking and information sharing.”
These, interventions, the Minister said, had been duly put into policy and a comprehensive action plan with monitoring and evaluation framework also developed.