President launches Action Plan to combat Anti-microbial resistance
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday launched Ghana’s Anti-microbial Resistance National Policy and Action Plan, calling on Ghanaians to effect change in the handling of antimicrobials to combat the resistance phenomenon.
Noting that though antimicrobials had, over the course of many years, been used to prevent and treat microbial infections, he pointed out that the significant gains made in the field of infectious disease, animal and crop health, as well as livestock and aquaculture was being threatened by the increasing case of resistance.
Launching the two documents at the Accra International Conference Centre, President Akufo-Addo was emphatic that the phenomenon of anti-microbial resistance was a grave threat to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goal 3, which demanded that countries ensured healthy lives and the promotion of wellbeing for all at all ages.
Thus, stakeholders should step up action towards ensuring that the looming threat posed by the situation was effectively addressed.
The President pointed out that with antimicrobial resistance, simple treatment for infections, such as pneumonia or gonorrhea, could no longer be possible, adding that the world was already grappling with Drug Resistant Tuberculosis, which was threatening to undo decades of progress made in the treatment and control of tuberculosis.
He noted also that the phenomenon had not spared the food supply chain, because antibiotic resistance was a major challenge to animal husbandry, fisheries and aquaculture sectors, as Ghanaian research had shown.
“Our environment is also at risk, because of the effluents from industry that keep polluting the soil and water bodies…it is, thus, important that we recognise this, and the current steps we have taken to deal with the Resistance phenomenon, steps, which I am confident, are in the right direction.”
President Akufo-Addo held that the launch of the National Policy and Action Plan documents was a clear indication that the Ghana was ready to take action to contain the situation.
He tasked the SDG Secretariat to ensure a smooth and hitch-free implementation of the policy and action plan, and further directed the health minister and the Attorney General to take the necessary steps to move some of the policy issues into legislation, to ensure public health safety.
Key among these are policies on the environment and waste, rational use of medicines, crop and animal production, and residues.
The President was optimistic that Ghana was well-positioned to join in the global effort to fight against anti-microbial resistance, stating, “It is my hope that the committed implementation of the interventions outlined in these documents will guarantee the efficacy, as well as ensure the responsible use of antimicrobials, and, thereby, preserve them for future generations.”
“We are mobilising domestic resources to deal with this menace, a mobilisation which is an integral part of our vision of creating a Ghana Beyond Aid,” he added.