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2ND INTER-MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE MEET ON AMR IMPLEMENTATION ACTION PLAN

Mr. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Minister for Health, has urged the Media and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to actively support awareness creation activities on the responsible use of antimicrobials as well as the fight against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).


In an address delivered on his behalf at the 2nd Inter-Ministerial Committee Meeting on the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) on AMR in Accra on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, Mr. Agyeman-Manu noted that across the globe, Governments had responded to the call to develop policies and interventions to address the responsible use of antimicrobials and the menace of AMR.


He noted that AMR was a major health security issue that required pragmatic and concerted efforts across all sectors to tackle, in order to totally preserve the health of humans, animals and the environment as a whole, and to forestall the human and economic challenges it presented.


Furthermore, he said, access to medicines and health was a human rights as well as a developmental issue, for which reason Governments had continuously made interventions to remove barriers as well as increase access as they strove to achieve Universal Health Care (UHC) and the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Mr. Agyeman-Manu said AMR affected all the indicators of the SDGs, all with linkages to infections, healthy living and, for that matter, the use of antimicrobials and AMR.


The Health Minister, therefore, stressed the need to support the national effort to ensure that all negative actions and practices that fueled AMR were discouraged in order to contain AMR and preserve the lifespan of essential medicines for the public good.


He commended members of the AMR Ghana Platform, Development Partners, implementing ministries, the Academia, professional groups and CSOs for keeping up the momentum on the fight against AMR.


In her welcome remarks, Mrs Joycelyn Azeez, Chief of Procurement, Ministry of Health, noted that the NAP for AMR was significant in view of its impact on achieving all the indicators of the UN SDGs 2, 3, 6 and 8, and UHC.


Mrs Azeez, therefore, commended all stakeholders for their willingness to work together to implement the National Policy and NAP for AMR.


On her part, Mrs Jennifer Bonnah, Director, Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), underscored the importance of AMR issues to the health needs of the population.


To that effect, Mrs Bonnah said, FDA was committed to implementing strategies aimed at reducing the incidence of AMR in Ghana by ensuring quality, safe and efficacious antimicrobial agents on the Ghanaian market.


She disclosed that the FDA, with support from the Fleming Fund― a UK aid programme which helps low- and middle-income countries tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by improving the surveillance of AMR and generating relevant data that is shared nationally and globally― was implementing two major projects, namely Quality of Selected Antimicrobial Agents and Data Capture on Antimicrobial Agents.


AMR is the ability of a microbe to resist the effects of medication that once could successfully treat the microbe.


In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), as a result of the 68th World Health Assembly Resolution in May 2015, called on countries to develop policies and interventions to address the responsible use of antimicrobials and the menace of AMR.


In April 2018, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, launched Ghana’s National Policy and a five-year National Action Plan (NAP) on antimicrobial use and resistance.


The Policy was developed in line with the objectives and guidelines of the Global Action Plan on AMR.


The launch of the Policy and NAP was followed by the first Inter-ministerial Committee― the highest decision-making body with oversight responsibility for the implementation of the interventions on AMR― meeting on March 21, 2019 to sensitize implementing ministries and agencies on AMR country actions and, specifically, the activities of the Fleming Fund Project.


The objective of the 2nd Inter-ministerial Committee was, therefore, to officially establish and launch the Committee―as per the recommended governance structure in the NAP― and identify the focal persons who would actively work with the Co-ordinating Secretariat to implement the AMR interventions. Forty-five participants attended the meeting which was hosted by the Fleming Fund.


Members of the Inter-ministerial Committee, as per the recommendations of NAP, are the Ministers for Health, Food and Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and their related agencies, FDA― one of two regulatory bodies in Ghana to have benefited from the first phase of the Fleming Fund project― or their representatives and their focal persons.

 

The Fleming Fund Project in Ghana aims to support a ‘One Health’ governance structure for AMR and antimicrobial resistance use (AMU) surveillance as well as support a government-led system of collecting, analyzing and reporting AMR and AMU data on national and international platforms, through the AMR National Reference Laboratory at the University of Ghana and 11 sentinel sites.


Source: G.D. Zaney, Esq.

 

 

Created: 26 August 2019
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