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Ghana launches its AMR Policy and National Action Plan

His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo launching Ghana's AMR Policy and National Action Plan
30/04/2018

The government of Ghana in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World organization for Animal health (OIE) has launched Ghana’s Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) policy and its National action plan. 

The President of the Republic of Ghana His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the launching of the AMR policy document urged Ghanaians to get involved in the control of antimicrobial resistance in Ghana.

He noted that the phenomenon of antimicrobial resistance represents a great threat to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goal 3 which stresses on ensuring healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages. On food and agriculture the president noted that “Our food supply chain is also not being spared because antibiotic resistance is a major challenge to animal husbandry and fisheries and aquaculture sectors, as research has shown”.

The implementation of the AMR policy will be backed by a functional regulatory framework for which the president has tasked the minister for Health and Attorney-General to take the necessary steps to move some of the policy issues into legislation to ensure public health and safety. Key among these are policy on environment and waste, rational use of medicines, crop and animal production, and residues.

Speaking on behalf of the Tripartite bodies (World Health Organisation, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Organisation of Animal Health), Dr. Owen Laws Kaluwa, WHO country representative, pledged continued collaboration among the Tripartite bodies with the government and people of Ghana in their bid to control and contain AMR in Ghana and beyond.

Antimicrobial resistance is developed when microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and some parasites are able to withstand the therapeutic effects of antimicrobials, rendering treatment of diseases in humans and animals ineffective. Bacteria that have acquired antimicrobial resistance may infect humans and animals and cause diseases that will be difficult to treat, thereby contributing to prolonged, more expensive treatments, longer hospital stays and increased mortality.

AMR can also lead to loss of production and productivity in animals, and has a negative impact on food safety and food security. Antimicrobial resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health and development today, and is rising at an alarming rates around the world including Ghana.

FAO as a partner promoted coordination and collaboration among the multi-sectoral governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to work together in developing the One Health AMR policy and action plan with technical and financial assistance under the Fleming Fund Project. This was achieved using One Health approach which promotes stakeholders from different disciplines (human health, animal health, crops and environmental health) planning and working together at local and national levels to prevent and contain antimicrobial resistance in Ghana.

FAO also supported the sector ministries to develop a robust M & E framework for the NAP before its eventual validation and printing. In the final handover ceremony of the printed documents to the representatives of the ministries, Dr. Abebe Haile-Gabriel, the FAO Representative for Ghana, commended the ministries for working together using the One Health approach. 

Working through the Ghana AMR Platform, FAO collaborated with the government of Ghana to revise the existing legislation relevant for antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial use in relevant sectors to support the implementation of the policy. The National action plan document can be downloaded for free here; http://ghndp.org/amr/ghanaamrnap.pdf 

The organization is currently working with the food and agriculture sectors to establish surveillance system to monitor antimicrobial use in the food supply chain, and also collaborating with the veterinary division of Ministry of Food and Agriculture to develop guidelines for good practices with regards to Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Use in commercial poultry production.