The President has launched Ghana’s Anti-microbial Resistance Policy and National Action Plan, at an event at the Accra International Conference Centre, Wednesday.
President Akufo-Addo noted that even though antimicrobials have been used to prevent and treat microbial infections, over the course of several years, over the last decade, however, anti-microbial resistance is threatening to derail the significant achievements made in the field of infectious disease therapy, animal and crop health, the environment, and our fisheries and aqua culture.
As co-Chair of the United Nations Advocates Group of Eminent Persons on the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, the President stressed that the phenomenon of anti-microbial resistance represents a grave threat to the realization of SDG 3, which demands that countries ensure healthy lives and the promotion of well-being for all at all ages.
This, according to the President, warrants that all efforts are geared towards overcoming the resistance.
What this means, the President explained, is that simple treatment for infections, such as pneumonia or gonorrhoea, can no longer be possible because of antimicrobial resistance, adding that the world is already grappling with Drug Resistant Tuberculosis, which is threatening to undo decades of progress made in the treatment and control of tuberculosis.
The President stated that “Our food supply chain is also not being spared, because antibiotic resistance is a major challenge to animal husbandry, fisheries and aquaculture sectors, as Ghanaian research has shown. Our environment is also at risk, because of the effluents from industry that keep polluting the soil and water bodies.
He continued, “It is, thus, important that we recognize this, and the current steps we have taken to deal with the Resistance phenomenon, steps, which I am confident, are in the right direction.”
It is for this reason, and in consonance with the stance taken by the World Health Assembly which urges all Member States to develop and put in place national action plans on anti-microbial resistance, which must be aligned with the objectives of the global action plan launched in May 2015, that President Akufo-Addo has launched a national action plan together with a national policy document.
The launch of the policy and national action plan and national policy document, according to President Akufo-Addo, is a clear indication that Ghana is ready to implement their contents.
“I am, therefore, tasking the SDG Secretariat to ensure their smooth and hitch-free implementation. Additionally, the Minister for Health and the Attorney General are to take the necessary steps to move some of the policy issues into legislation, to ensure our public health safety. Key among these are policies on the environment and waste, rational use of medicines, crop and animal production, and residues,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo was fortified in his belief that Ghana is well-positioned to join in the global effort to fight anti-microbial resistance.
“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 mobilizing 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.
President Akufo-Addo urged all Ghanaians to join hands in the implementation of the anti-microbial resistance plan, stressing that “together, we can effect change in the handling and use of antimicrobials.”
He challenged industry also to come out with new innovations and formulations of antimicrobials, vaccines and diagnostics, as the country seeks to combat the resistance phenomenon.
“I also charge the Inter-Ministerial Committee On The Implementation of the SDGs to incorporate the various indicators for anti-microbial resistance into their work stream, and ensure that the achievement of SDG 3, by the target date of 2030, is realized,” he concluded.