They said there was an increase in drug-resistant infections caused by bacteria and viruses worldwide and in Ghana as a result of how these drugs are wrongly administered.
The panellists were speaking at the World AMR Awareness Week organised by the FOCOS Orthopaedic Hospital marked in Accra.
It was on the theme “Preventing antimicrobial resistance together”.
The panellists were the Head of Medical Services at FOCOS Orthopaedic Hospital, Dr Francis Addai; the Head of National Public Health and Reference Laboratory at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Gifty Boateng, and the Head of Pharmacy at FOCOS Orthopaedic Hospital, Benjamin Ampadu.
Others were a health representative, Michael Akaadom; a Public Health Nurse Specialist at FOCOS, Bismark Adams, and a Nurse Manager in charge of Inspection and Prevention at FOCOS, Claudia Wireko-Tei.
In her opening remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, Dr Irene Adorkor Wulff said AMR was a serious issue which required a collective approach saying “here at FOCOS, we have started our campaign and would need all hands on deck to tackle this crucial health condition.”
Dr Gifty Boateng said a five-year AMR policy which was developed in 2017 to fight AMR prevalence had ended, but added that the Ministry of Health would, next year, develop a new policy with an action plan to fight the AMR.
She advocated for strengthening of laboratories to allow the release of results in good time for effective monitoring and evaluation.
Head of Medical Services at FOCOS Orthopaedic Hospital, Dr Francis Addai added that, poor infection control in hospitals and clinics, lack of hygiene and poor sanitation and lack of new antibiotics being developed could also be a factor.
“This is a silent public health issue that must be addressed. He said, in 2019 bacteria antimicrobial resistance contributed to 2.7 million deaths global.
“It is also projected that AMR will cause 10 million deaths annually by 2050 if the issue isnt not addressed. AMR is a threat to the operations of health facilities, to patients in terms of cost and it requires urgent attention,” he stressed.
Head of Pharmacy at FOCOS Orthopaedic Hospital, Benjamin Ampadu. Advised the general public against self-medication and avoid using left over medications.
He also warned against patronising drugs from pedlars as these people did not have the right information on the drugs they sold.