Antimicrobial Stewardship refers to coordinated interventions designed to improve and measure the appropriate use of antimicrobial agents.
This is done by promoting the selection of optimal drug regimen including dosing, duration of therapy and route of administration.
Professor Baafour Kofi Opoku, the Medical Director of KATH, said the misuse of antibiotics had contributed to antibiotic resistance, posing serious threat to public health.
It was, therefore, important for the Committee to devise effective strategies that would help optimise the use of antibiotics to effectively treat infections, protect patients from harm caused by unnecessary antibiotic use and combat its resistance, he said.
The Committee was established in line with the national policy on the prevention of antibiotic resistance, which was introduced in 2017 involving several ministries like Health, Agriculture and Fisheries.
Its roles include ensuring the right antibiotic for the right patient at the right time, with the right dosage and route administration, causing the least harm to the patient and future patients.
Prof Opoku said antibiotics had adverse side effects, which occurred in roughly 20 per cent of hospitalised patients who received them, adding that a lot of concerns had been raised about the growing resistance of Tuberculosis, Gonorrhoea, HIV, and Influenza A, among others, to antimicrobial resistance.
He said the use of antibiotics for disease prevention and growth promotion in animal husbandry and the existence of antibiotic residues in the food chain were also key to the problem of antibiotic résistance.
The non-therapeutic use of antimicrobials in livestock production had also increased tremendously.
Prof Opoku said an assessment on the type of antibiotics being used by some pig farms in the Ashanti Region and during disease management indicated that injectable tetracycline and sulphadimidine, among others, which contained antibiotics, were overly used.
He said appropriate education and veterinary interventions were needed to prevent resistant bacteria from becoming endemic at pig farms in the communities.
Prof Opoku said Antibiotic Stewardship Programmes could help improve clinical outcomes and minimise harm by improving its prescription
He, therefore, called on the Committee to work assiduously to help achieve the set objectives by stemming the tide of growing antimicrobial resistance in Ghana.