PSGH Calls For Collective Effort In AMR Fight

Pharm. Dr. Samuel Kow Donkoh


The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, (PSGH) has called on policymakers in the Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) space, health professionals, pharmacy regulatory agencies, and the public to join forces in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

Marking the 2023 World AMR Awareness Week (WAAW) in Accra, PSGH President, Pharm. Dr. Samuel Kow Donkoh, said stakeholders’ collective action is crucial to stem the tide and contain the development and spread of AMR.

“As the leaders entrusted with shaping health and development policies, policymakers must prioritize and invest in initiatives that promote responsible antimicrobial use, surveillance, and research,” he said.

He further called on government agencies to ensure the full action of the reviewed National Policy on Antimicrobial Use and Resistance and its attendant Action Plan, to make it a timely document to support full implementation.

According to the Global Research on Antimicrobial Resistance (GRAM) report, in 2019 alone, an estimated 1.27 million lives were claimed directly by drug-resistant infections. The overall toll increased to 4.95 million deaths from complications of resistant bacterial infections.

Disturbingly, evidence available suggests that one in five deaths in children under the age of five is from drug resistant bacteria infections.

At its core, AMR undermines the efficacy of antibiotics, anti-virals, and anti-fungals—the very essential tools we rely on to treat infections and safeguard public health.

It is estimated that if the use of antimicrobials in health systems are not efficiently controlled and drug resistant microbes continue to spread, AMR related illnesses could account for a staggering 10 million deaths worldwide by the year 2050.

Pharm. Donkoh said a major contributor to AMR is indiscriminate and excessive use of antibiotics in human health care, animal husbandry, and food production.

“Our response to AMR must therefore be swift, coordinated, and unwavering. As we commemorate the 2023 World AMR Awareness Week, let us remember that the choices we make today will shape the health and well-being of generations to come,” he added.

He noted that the theme, “Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together” underscores the collective responsibility shared in addressing the global challenge.

“I urge all one-health professionals, including pharmacists, to play a pivotal role on the front lines of this battle. AMR transcends health and must be linked to the Sustainable Development Goals, since food security would be hampered, and our planet health would also not be in good shape, if we do not pay attention to antimicrobial stewardship for all the sectors,” he urged.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri