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Legislation To Address Anti- Microbial Resistance In The Offing   
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The Ministry of Health (MoH) has begun the drafting of a legislation to institutionalise the integration of various government departments to address anti-microbial resistance (AMR) which occurs as a result of abuse of anti-biotics in Ghana.

The draft follows the launch of the National Anti-Microbial Policy & Strategic Plan by President Akufo-Addo earlier this year, where he called on the MoH to work with the Attorney General’s Department to ensure appropriate legislations are put in place to address the situation.

This announcement was made at the opening of the 2nd Call to Action on AMR which seeks at address the rise and spread of drug-resistant globally and in particular in lower and middle income countries which have the heaviest burden of disease.

The two-day event brought together health representatives from national governments and agencies, civil society, the private sector and global philanthropies to focus on ambitious actions to fight AMR.

Opening the conference in Accra on behalf of President Akufo-Addo, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia said the call for action has become more urgent as the world strives to achieve sustainable development targets and the overall goal of the SDGs.

He said although anti-microbials play significant roles in reducing infectious disease burden since the discovery of penicillin, it has the potential to severely affect the efforts at achieving SDGs.

“Access to medicines and for that matter good health is a right issue and government over the years is doing all it can to remove barriers as well as increase access as it strives to achieve universal health coverage for all.

UHC cannot be achieved in isolation if SGDs and issues related antimicrobial resistance are not tackled in one health approach in which allows different government agencies to synergize towards health for all,” he opined

The vice president stated that the aim of the global community should be first to halt and then reverse the trend of anti-microbial resistance as the future of the human race may just depend on this.

The Vice President of Liberia, Jewel Haward Taylor, said tackling AMR requires a multi-sector approach due to the interconnected nature of human, animal and environmental health.

“Reflecting this cross-cutting nature, groups from across governments communities and sectors have come together to develop innovation solutions aimed at reducing illnesses and deaths cause by superbug,” she mentioned.

Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu added that anti-microbial resistance will become meaningless if the global community does not pay attention to the development of action plans and seeing it through the effective implementation of the plans and strategies for accountable governance.

“Ghana is pursuing this health security threat and making sure this is followed under ‘One Health Agenda’ because it is the right thing to do, especially so when His Excellency the President of the Republic is a co-advocate for the SDGs,” he pointed out.

The World Health Organization (WHO) data shows that although there has been some progress in countries developing or have developed national plan of action, only 38 per cent out of the 93 per cent of these countries have implemented this plan and 15 per cent have no plan at all, highlighting the long way to go if the world is to turn the tide on AMR.

The Inter-Agency Coordination Group (IACG) on AMR is expected to submit their report to the UN Secretary General which will include recommendation from the Call to Action conferences. The UN Secretary General will then report back to the UN General Assembly in 2019.

When AMR was tabled at the UN General Assembly in 2016, it was only the fourth time in history of the UN that a health topic had been discussed at the General Assembly representing the severity of the issue for every country around the world.

The misuse or abuse of anti-biotics is a contributory factor to AMR
Source: Daily Guide

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