FAO Regional Office for Africa

Support for World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2019 Celebration Activities

A Global Action Plan (GAP) to tackle the growing problem of resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines was endorsed at the Sixty-eighth World Health Assembly in May 2015. One of the key objectives of the plan is to improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance through effective communication, education and training. Since the adoption of GAP, the global Tripartite of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have worked assiduously to increase awareness activities on AMR.

The Tripartite has set aside a week in every November of the year to celebrate awareness of AMR globally. World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) seeks to increase awareness of global antibiotic resistance. This in turn encourages best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid further emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance in the health sector, food and agricultural sector, as well as in the environment. The theme for this year’s campaign, “Antibiotics: Handle with Care”, reflects the overarching message that antibiotics are a precious resource and should be preserved. They should be used to treat bacterial infections, only when prescribed by a certified health professional. Antibiotics should never be shared and the full course of treatment should be completed – not saved for the future.

Through the support of FAO in collaboration with its allies (WHO and OIE), Ghana has developed, launched and now implementing a National AMR Action Plan (NAP) to combat AMR. Improving awareness and understanding of AMR through effective communication to empower and enable stakeholder action on AMR is foundational to the successful implementation of the Ghana NAP. Even though awareness activities on AMR are being implemented in Ghana and around the globe, not much has been achieved and AMR continues to pose threat to food insecurity and public health in the country and also globally. The Tripartite is therefore encouraging all Member States and other partners to join the campaign and help raise awareness of the issue. It is against this background that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is supporting Ghana to celebrate WAAW with numerous awareness activities to drum home the need to change our behavior on antimicrobial use in human health, animal health and in environmental health.

The Ghana AMR NAP recognizes the relevance of the media in raising awareness of the problem of antimicrobial resistance, and sharing solutions and practices that can slow it down. It also considers media’s importance in working with governmental and non-governmental organisations, development partners, research and academic institutions, in sharing best practices, encouraging discussions, sharing research findings and being watchdogs to ensure that we are all playing our respective roles in country and global efforts.

In this regard, the Ghana AMR Platform has solicited for technical assistance from FAO to carry out three main activities namely: training of media professionals in AMR communication and advocacy; engaging the private sector in awareness creation on AMR; and launching the World Antibiotic Awareness Week.is giving to the However, it is generally accepted that AMR issues are relatively difficult for non-experts to understand and interpret. It is against this backdrop that this workshop is being organized to build capacities of media professionals from various media houses and across different media spectra.

Programme Objectives:  

The main objective is to create awareness among the public, and equip the private sector and especially media professionals with in-depth knowledge and understanding of AMR issues for effective and accurate reporting using One Health approach.

Specific Objectives:

  • To sensitize the general public on antimicrobial resistance and the use of antibiotics
  • To engage the private sector to understand AMR and advocate for behavior change in antimicrobial use
  • To unravel AMR and AMU to media professionals and discuss the roles of Government, the Tripartite and the media in combating AMR in Ghana and beyond
  • To facilitate effective communication and reporting of AMR and AMU by the media to the public

Expected Outputs

  • World antibiotic Awareness Week is launch and message on prudent AMU well echoed to the public
  • The private organisations within food and agriculture, and health sectors are sensitized on AMR and AMU
  •  Media professionals are trained on AMR and AMU, and the roles of major stakeholders
  • Development of packaging and reporting strategies of AMR and AMU messages by media professionals is facilitated

Expected Outcome:

  • AMR issues are professionally, effectively and accurately reported by the media
  • The general public change their behavior towards prudent use of antimicrobials

Participation and Scope of the Media Training

The workshop will be attended by representatives from 25 media houses. The media professionals will be drawn from reporters specialized in food and agriculture, health and environment. About 40 participants are expected to attend the workshop.

 Mode of Delivery

The workshop outputs will be delivered in two days through briefings, presentations, group work and plenary discussions. The project coordinator and the communication officer will lead the deliberations with support from three other facilitators. The first day of the workshop will be used to unpack AMR and AMU to participants, and also talk about the roles of stakeholders in the fight against AMR at local, national and global levels. Day 2 of the workshop will focus on questions and answers, and group work to develop strategies for packaging and reporting AMR and AMU messages. Groups will present their findings in a plenary for discussions. Training materials will be collated and packaged for participants for future reference