FAO Regional Office for Africa

Ghana pilots innovative tool to combat Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

The first country to try out FAO’s new assessment tool to stop superbugs

©FAO/Petterik Wiggers

17 April 2019, Accra – Almost a year after Ghana launched its national strategy to fight drug-resistant superbugs, strategic One Health players including animal, human, plant, and environment experts, and the private sector, gathered to assess the progress of the implementation of the FAO-developed AMR National Action Plan using the Progressive Management Pathway (PMP) tool.

Antimicrobials play a critical role in treating animal diseases, hence their use is necessary to ensure food security, human well-being, and animal welfare. However, the overuse and misuse of antimicrobials can lead to the development of antimicrobial resistance rendering these medications ineffective against routine infections. This further threatens human and animal health, food security, and sustainable development.

A practical self-assessment tool

The FAO Regional Office for Africa organized a workshop in Accra Ghana, with One Health experts to assess the progress on implementation of Ghana’s National Action Plan on AMR and to test the Progressive Management Pathway (PMP) tool recently developed by FAO. PMP is a practical self-assessment tool that provides guidance to countries for operationalizing and implementing their National Action Plans. PMP identifies specific activities, achievements, and key performance indicators (KPI) along a progressive pathway for the areas of governance, practices, awareness, and evidence.

Over the four-day workshop, Ghana’s PMP team reviewed the progress on their AMR strategy, participated in the training on PMP tool, and prepared a PMP progress and evaluation report.

“With Ghana being one of the model countries addressing AMR issues in Africa, we believe that the PMP tool could move Ghana’s AMR mitigation efforts to the next level. The feedback from this workshop is extremely valuable and will guide revisions to the PMP tool and facilitate the roll out of the tool in other countries in Africa.” said Scott Newman, the Senior Animal Health and Production Officer of FAO Africa.
Feedback on the PMP tool indicated that participants found it extremely helpful to allow a thorough evaluation of the National Action Plan on AMR.

FAO’s global effort to combat AMR

FAO has been taking action to combat the spread of AMR in agriculture, developing a global FAO Action Plan on AMR and supporting countries to develop and implement National Action Plans (NAP) through close collaboration with One Health partners. Through the global and national action plans, FAO aims to strengthen governance, improve awareness, develop monitoring and surveillance capacity, and promote good practices and the prudent use of antimicrobials. FAO, World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with UN Environment Programme (UNEP) recently developed a Tripartite Work Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (2019-2020) which was endorsed by the Tripartite Executive Committee.

Ghana’s AMR National Action Plan

The Government of Ghana, in collaboration with FAO, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), launched their Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) policy with the National Action Plan. The implementation of the AMR policy is backed by a functional regulatory framework, which the President of Ghana has tasked the Minister for Health and Attorney-General to take the necessary steps to move some policy issues into legislation to ensure public health and safety. Key priority policies address environment and waste, rational use of medicines, crop and animal production, and residues.

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