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This programme forms part of activities to build the capacity of CSOs in health to include antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance themes in their health promotion activities. This training was organised by the African Women International (AWI), a member of the GCNH in Fijai in the Western Region.

The training which took place at the GNAT Hall, Fijai saw thirty-three participants from various community associations and representatives arrived, including special guest Nana Aba Essoun II, Queen Mother of Diabene.  

 

Mr George Hedidor, a Pharmacist and Coordinator to the ReAct CSOs project Ghana, introduced the program and began the training by having all attendees stand and introduce themselves to the group. Following this, he ran an activity (pre-test) to start the participants thinking about antibiotics, identify their level of understanding, and raise their interest in the topic.

The first session focused on helping the group understand what microbes are, and the difference between bacteria, viruses and fungi. The participants seemed engaged and asked questions. 

There was a 10-minute stretch and rest break where everyone participated in a ‘Heads, shoulders, knees and toes’ song to wake up and refresh.

During the second session, Mr Hedidor spoke in detail about antibiotics, what they are, incorrect ways of identifying them, what illnesses they can be used to treat and what they should not. He also spoke about regulated supply of antibiotics and how people should be encouraged to only buy antibiotics from registered sellers, such as pharmacies. Participants were then asked to join in a group activity by speaking in small groups about the use and abuse of antibiotics. At the end of the activity participants were invited to present their discussions and their views. 

Following this break, Mr George Hedidor answered a few questions about the safe use of antibiotics and handed the discussion over to Mr Brian Asare to talk about antibiotic resistance.

Mr Brian Asare led the discussion about antibiotic resistance, how it occurs, how easily it can spread, and explained to the group the dangers of antibiotic resistance. This discussion led into an explanation on the rational use of antibiotics and misconceptions about antibiotic use.

At 1.50pm Mr George Hedidor initiated the final quiz and took questions and comments from participants. The program finished at approximately 2.05pm.

The program was evaluated as Mr Hedidor recorded what they have learnt.

Mrs Patience Hinson, of African Women International thanked the facilitators and explained the importance of this session as Training o f Trainers (TOT). That they should share this knowledge with anyone they meet, and documents their activities.  

Participants raised questions such as: 

  • What is the difference between a virus and bacteria?
  • What causes the resistance, is it the human being or the bacteria?
  • What are good bacteria?
  • Why don’t we put capsules in open wounds?
  • Why can’t you use antibiotics to treat the flu or a cold?
  • Will the bacteria change into a virus when there is resistance?
  • If you use hand sanitiser to clean your hands, how to do you clean the rest of the body?
  • Why should you complete the course of antibiotics and not share it with others?
  • Is everything in a capsule an antibiotic?
  • Can you use colours to identify different tablets and capsules?
  • Can you mix antibiotics with herbal medicine to treat gonorrhoea?
  • Whether or not it is good to use antiseptic?
  • What is the difference between disinfectant and antiseptic?
  • Whether if you bought medicines from a pharmacy and they are not stored well will that contribute to resistance improper storage
  • Will antibiotic residue impact antibiotic resistance
  • Abuse of antibiotics results in candida?

 

These concerns among many others were thoroughly discussed and appropriate answers provided for participants.

Participants called for increase in education on the use of medicines and especially antibiotics. Some were also of the view that, the one-day training was not enough and needed some more time. Facilitators responded by proposing to organisers if they can organise more training sessions. Technical assistance will be provided at their request.

 

By: 

George Hedidor

ReACT-CSOs Project Coordinator

NDIRC

CSO resources

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