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Pharmaceutical Society calls for proper use of antibiotics

Thursday, 16 November 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Frank KUMI, Editor
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The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), the country's association of pharmacists has advised the public through a press release to use antibiotics responsibly in order to preserve them against resistance development. The press release was part of efforts to commemorate this year's World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW), which runs from 13th to 19th November.  Read the full statement below:

The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH)  joins the World Health Organization (WHO), health professionals and the entire world to commemorate the World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) from 13th November to 19th November, 2017.

The theme for the commemoration is “Seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional before taking antibiotics”.

The PSGH joins its voice to the call for responsible use of antibiotics. As experts on medicines, we are aware of the alarming increase in the development of resistance by disease-causing microorganisms to previously potent antibiotics. The rapid increase in antibiotic resistance has given rise to untreatable infections among different age groups globally.

This coupled with the continuous decline in the discovery and development of new antibiotics paint a very gloomy picture for the future of the treatment of infectious diseases. If care is not taken to accelerate universal awareness of the magnitude of the problem and concrete steps taken to reverse the development of antibiotic resistance, mild infections and minor injurious could become fatal. Resistance to antibiotics occurs naturally in microorganisms, however human activities including abuse and misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals has led to the acceleration of antibiotic resistance.

Today a growing number of infections – such as tuberculosis and pneumonia among a host of others are becoming difficult to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them become less effective. We have seen increasing difficulty in the treatment of tuberculosis using multiple antibiotics where the bacteria that causes TB has developed resistance to at least two of the most powerful antibiotics ( rifampicin and isoniazid), also in turn leading to development of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). Treatment of MDR-TB is becoming difficult in many countries leading to extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) where there is additional resistance to more anti TB drugs.

In the treatment of other infectious diseases like pneumonia, antibiotic resistance is leading to longer hospital stays, higher costs of treatment and increased mortality.

Antibiotic resistance is not only a global health challenge but also threatens global food security. The World Bank in September 2016 termed drug-resistant infections “a threat to our economic future”. This is how serious antibiotic resistance has become.

Antibiotic resistance is being seen at an equally alarming rate in the treatment of diseases in animals. Since most of the antibiotics used in animals are also used in humans, there is the added risk of increasing antibiotic resistance in humans or cross resistance with antimicrobials used in humans. This is leading to increased morbidity and mortality in the rearing of animals with threat to global food security. 

It is important for all of us to see antibiotics as a very scarce and valuable resource which must be treasured protected and must require expert advice before taking.

The public is called upon to change its ways of using antibiotics. We strongly ask the public to seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional before taking medicines especially antibiotics.

Development of new medicines without behavioral change will continue to lead to antibiotic resistance. The PSGH calls on regulators to continue the enforcement of regulation in the supply of restricted medicines. We call for stringent control of antibiotics use in veterinary medicine as well as restricted use amongst animal and fish breeders.

Pharmacists and other healthcare professionals have the foremost responsibility to lead the crusade to treasure antibiotics and provide the right advice for the right patients to take the right antibiotics.

The PSGH encourages all patients to consult their pharmacist before taking any medicine especially antibiotics.

Pharm. Ben K. Botwe,

Contact: 020-8162909, 0206713700