Ministry of Food and Agriculture takes antimicrobial resistance campaign to Sogakope

The campaign is aimed at creating awareness and tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) responsibly

Residents in Sogakope and its adjoining communities in the South Tongu district of the Volta region have been educated on the use of antimicrobial drugs.

The Veterinary Services Directorate organised public education under the auspices of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

The campaign is an effort by the Agric Ministry to create awareness and address the weakened potency of antibiotic drugs.

Held at the Sogakope on 7 March 2024, hundreds of residents were educated through a demonstration on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), how it works in living organisms and ways to tackle it responsibly.

A veterinary technologist at the National Veterinary Service Directorate, Alberta Owusu Afriyie, said self-prescribed drug administration among livestock farmers is on the increase.

She said the situation contributes to AMR and asked the public to purchase meat from only veterinary-approved meat shops.

AMR does not only affect humans and animals but also plants.

Dr Saviour Yevutse, the National AMR coordinator for the Ministry of Health, said many antibiotic drugs in the country are leaving the shelves because organisms have developed resistance to them.

He said the situation in the country now is a “silent pandemic”, adding that the country is investing so much in fighting against it, hence the need to join forces.

“Data shows that antimicrobial resistance is a serious issue in Ghana, and we’re implementing interventions in one health approach: animals, humans, and plants,” he said.

He then lamented that “AMR is real, and we are experiencing treatment failures as a result of the system, more drugs are being phased out”.

For his part, Dr Kofi Afakye, national AMR project coordinator for the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), said the agencies, including the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations, and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), are giving technical and financial support to countries to fight against the menace.

AMR occurs when organisms develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to treat them, and as a result, the effort to treat diseases becomes a challenge.

Reporting by Albert Kuzor in the Volta Region

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