The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) has called for the responsible use of antibiotics in view of the alarming increase in the development of resistance by disease-causing microorganisms to previously potent antibiotics.
A statement signed by Mr Ben K. Botwe, the President of PSGH, and copied to the GNA said the rapid increase in antibiotic resistance had given rise to untreatable infections among different age groups globally.
The call came as 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.
PSGH said if care was 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.
It said resistance to antibiotics occurs naturally in microorganisms; however human activities including abuse and misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals have led to the acceleration of antibiotic resistance.
This coupled with the continuous decline in the discovery and development of new antibiotics paint a very gloomy picture of the future of the treatment of infectious diseases.
“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 power antibiotics (rifampicin and isoniazid) which has led to development of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). Treatment of MDR-TB is also 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 was leading to longer hospital stays, higher costs of treatment and increased mortality.
Antibiotic resistance was not only a global health challenge but also threatened global food security. The World Bank in September 2016 termed drug-resistant infections “a threat to our economic future”. This was how serious antibiotic resistance had 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 stamen said.
It called on the pulic 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 behaviour change will continue to lead to antibiotic resistance, adding, the PSGH called 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 restricted use amongst animal and fish breeders,” adding that Pharmacists and other healthcare professionals had 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 encouraged all patients to consult their pharmacist before taking any medicine especially antibiotics.
The theme for the commemoration is “Seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional before taking antibiotics”.