Ghanaians must stop the wrongful use of antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials to help contain and prevent persistent infections, Mr. Brian Adu Asare, Pro-grammes Officer of the Ghana National Drugs Programme (GNDP), has said.
This he said is because such acts make antibiotics resistant to the control of microbial diseases and make the treatment of infectious diseases with antibiotics ineffective and expensive.
Mr. Asare gave the caution when about 40 journalists in the Greater Accra Region where engaged at a workshop on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) on Wednesday.
The workshop was organised by the Ministry of Health (MOH), through the GNDP, and was meant to develop the media’s interest to actively get involved in the on-going policy processes being made on drug resistance in the country.
It was also intended to broaden the media’s understanding on AMR and to encourage the public to get involved in the implementation of the policy
He said micro-organisms were getting smarter against antibiotics while resistance is also spreading across borders due to the irresponsible use of antimicrobial medicines.
“People must avoid self medication, and half-way treatments when they feel a bit better on medication with antibiotics, and follow instructions given by the dispenser to ensure that illnesses are fully treated to prevent Antimicrobial Resistance,” he said.
AMR is a consequence of the disproportional and inappropriate use of antimicrobial medicines which develops when micro-organisms acquire a resistant gene,
He said Ghana has developed a comprehensive policy on Multi-Drug Resistance to address all issues that influence anti microbial resistance in the country.
The Programmes Officer observed that the use of antibiotics in livestock and tilapia as growth boosters and protection from virus and bacterial infections, poses health threats to the public
The process is made more complex because animals are not allowed to go through the wash period, ‘a time to allow the animals’ system to fully make use of the antibiotics before they are slaughtered’
This, according to him leads to the transfer of small or nontherapeutic quantities of antibiotics left in the animals into the human body, thereby leading to the creation of a resistant gene in the human body.
By Linda Aryeetey