Executive summary [Report: CSO Global meeting in Cuenca] [Download full report]
Irrational use of antibiotics by care providers and the general public has been a major contributor to the development of antibiotic resistance.
Inadequate access, cost, sub-standard medicines, hunger, malnutrition, poor environmental sanitation, inappropriate disposal of hospital waste and the use of antimicrobials in agricultural chemicals and veterinary medicine are some factors known to promote antimicrobial resistance. Antibiotic resistance presents challenges in our ability to treat infectious diseases.
To tackle this looming danger, a multistakeholder approach focusing on advocacy and health promotion on antibiotic resistance has been identified as key to changing the attitude and practice of care providers and the community. The importance of civil society groups in this regard cannot be overemphasized.
A three-year project with funding from SIDA, involving civil society organization (CSOs) from Latin America, South East Asia, Uppsala and Ghana, with the aim of engaging and strengthening civil societies to address different aspects of antibiotic use and resistance through health education was launched in February 2012.
The first Global Workshop on this project was held in Cuenca, Ecuador from the 13th - 19th of November 2012. The objective of this was to:
• see first-hand experience and discuss the Latin American project
• share experiences on project implementation within each node
• discuss year one progress and audit reports and
• plan for year two activities and budget
Observations at the workshop were that, all regions are behind time in terms of project implementation for the first year as a result of individual country challenges. Most regions were basically involved in project planning during the period under review. The Latin American and some South East Asian counterparts have however completed some aspects of their baseline survey with only Ghana yet to carry out its baseline survey. To this, Ghana has committed to carrying out the baseline survey by the end of year one as the process had already began before the workshop. All other activities and budget for year one which were not implemented have been rolled over to year two for most regions. Clarifications on primary beneficiaries of the project, documentation and reporting processes were made.
Ghana needs to map out a strategy to speed up project implementation in order not to lack behind. The second regional workshop will be held in next year 2013.
This workshop was fruitful as it gave all participants the opportunity to share experiences and challenges which will inform decisions on improving on project activities for subsequent years.