GHANA—The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Ghana have agreed to pilot a new project to boost ongoing efforts to protect Ghana from the hazards of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

Antimicrobials, which include antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, and antiparasitics, are medications used to prevent and cure infections in humans, animals, and plants, according to the WHO.

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) develops when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites evolve and no longer respond to antibiotics, making infections more difficult to treat and raising the risk of disease spread, severe illness, and death.

Antibiotics and other antimicrobial medications become ineffective as a result of drug resistance, and illnesses become more difficult or impossible to treat.

The project signing ceremony was attended by the WHO Representative to Ghana, Prof. Francis Kasolo, and the Ghana Country Director of KOICA, Donghyun Lee.

The Government of Korea launched this second phase of the project called Partnership for Health Security in Ghana as part of the “Increasing Health Security Capacities through the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Phase 2.”

This project is valued at $100,000 and will be implemented in Ghana’s northern area.

The project aims to optimize the use of antimicrobial drugs by providing practical guidance, capacity building, and support to selected healthcare facilities in the northern region in order to implement antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) interventions in hospitals and laboratories.

 In addition, AMS guidelines and a training manual for Ghana will be developed.

Prof. Kasolo emphasized the global health and development challenges posed by AMR and thanked the Korean government for collaborating with WHO to help Ghana’s efforts to address them.

He stated that antimicrobial resistance is a severe concern not just to humans but also to animals, and that this collaboration would create critical knowledge needed to develop medications and educate communities about the dangers of AMR, ultimately contributing to saving lives and livelihoods.

Lee, on his part, highlighted KOICA’s pleasure in collaborating with WHO at the national and subnational levels to address the Government of Ghana’s top public health priority.

He noted that this program will strengthen healthcare systems and empower local communities, and he urged Ghanaians to encourage conversation between partners and stakeholders in order to accomplish the intended result.

According to WHO, AMR is one of the top ten worldwide public health challenges facing humanity. The cost of AMR to national economies and health systems is enormous because it reduces the productivity of patients and caregivers by requiring longer hospital stays and more expensive, intensive treatment.

Without efficient methods for preventing and treating drug-resistant infections, as well as enhanced access to existing and new quality-assured antimicrobials, the number of individuals who are unable to receive treatment or who die from infections will rise.

Surgery, including caesarean sections and hip replacements, cancer chemotherapy, and organ transplants will become more dangerous.

This new project is planned to supplement ongoing efforts in Ghana to combat AMR and its associated risks.

 The pilot effort will be overseen by WHO and implemented over a 17-month period by Ghana Health Service and Tamale Teaching Hospital in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other stakeholders.


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