Ghanaian Journalists have been entreated to use their platforms to help educate the the general public to stop misusing antibiotics in order avoid antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a resistance of microorganism to an antimicrobial medicine to which it was previously sensitive.
However the inappropriate and irrational use of medicines provides favourable conditions for the resistant microorganisms to emerge and spread. For instance, when a patients do not take the fulls course of a prescribed antimicrobial or when poor quality antimicrobials are use, resistant microorganisms can emerge and spread.
More so, these are another factors contributing to AMR: inappropriate and irrational use of medicines, including in animal husbandry; poor infection prevention and control practices;Weak or absent surveillance and monitoring systems; inadequate national national commitment to a comprehensive and co-ordinated response, illegal defined accountability and insufficient engagement of communities and Inadequate systems to ensure quality and uninterrupted supply of medicines.
However, the media has been figured as the major key players who could help address the menace by sensitizing the general public about the side-effects of misusing antibiotics.
It is in this regard,Ghana National Drug Programme of the Ministryof Health in collaboration with the WHO and Department of Microbiology of the University of Ghana Medical School took a judicious step by organising a day workshop for Journalist in Accra.
The workshop under theme: ?Managing Antimicrobial Resistance in Ghana, The role of the Media.?
TheProgramme Officer at the Ghana National Drug Programme,Mr Brian Adu Asarewho outlined progress made, called for a broad policy framework, which should focus more community education and socio-cultural change interventions.
Adding that media should focus more on AMR since it is a global phenomenon.He also seized the opportunity to advise Ghanaians to develope positive characters towards hygiene, access clean water and sanitation anduse antibiotics only when prescribed, complete the full prescription
and not to share antibiotics with others or use leftover prescription. According to him, there is need to combat drug resistance. Since emergency of AMR is a complex problem driven by many interconnected factors; single, isolated interventions have little impact. A global and national multi-sectoral response is urgently needed to combat the growing threat of AMR.
“WHO is engaged in guiding the response in AMR through: policy guidance, support for surveillance, technical assistance, knowledge generation and partnerships, including through disease prevention and control programmes; enssential medicines quality, supply and rational use; infection prevention and control; patient safety; and laboratory quality assurance” .
Facts on antimicrobial resistance
About 440 new cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) emerge annually, causing at least 150 000 deaths. Extensively drug – resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) has been reported in 64 countries to date.
Resistance is an emerging concern for treatment of HIV infection, following the rapid expansion in access to anti retroviral medicine in recent years.
AMR has become a serious problem for treatment of gonorrhoea(caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae), involving even “last-line” oral cephalosporins, and is increasing in prevalence worldwide. Untreatable go no coccal infections would result in increased rates of illness and deaths , thus reversing the gains made in the control of sexually transmitted infection.
By: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/spyGhana.com