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This programme forms part of  creating a supportive environment among CSOs and relevant stakeholders on health promotion with focus on antibiotics and resistance. This was organised by the African Women International, an NGO in health member of the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health, a partner to the ReACT CSOs project Ghana on the 1st of October 2014.

Over 100 participants came as individuals, representatives or members of various NGOs and professional interest groups drawn from across the Western Region. This included Queen mothers from the traditional area, market women, tradesmen, students, nurses, medicine counter assistants (MCAs), traditional medicine/herbal practitioners, various tradesmen, etc.  The gathering also forms part of the Annual Meeting of the Western Region GCNH.

Due to the varied background of participants, the programme was delivered in the local language (Akan). All technicalities relating to antibiotics and health promotion were discussed thoroughly among participants to convey the right message.

The workshop was very interactive as participants brought to bear some of the practical issues they encounter in the use of antibiotics and health issues in general. 

Mr George Hedidor, the ReAct CSOs project coordinator, generally introduced the programme and the project and the purpose for the gathering. He thanked all especially the Queen mothers for gracing the occasion and encouraged all to take active part in the discussions that follows.

Mr Brian Adu Asare a Project Officer of the GNDP and a Management member of the ReAct-CSO Ghana project discussed with participants topics such as the microbial world; its benefits and harms, the difference between bacteria and virus ( this could not be very well differentiated in the local language, but the type of disease they caused was used for explanations),  antibiotics and the type of illnesses which may demand antibiotics and otherwise,  how and where to get antibiotics, common practices in the use of antibiotics, responsible use of antibiotics and the dangers of antibiotic resistance.  

He explained resistance in simple terms in the local language, that, repeated misuse and exposure of bacteria to antibiotics contributes or enables the bacteria to develop mechanisms or device other ways by which to avoid the harmful effects of the antibiotic. 

Antibiotics also destroy both good and bad bacteria. Using the typical example of chloroquine and the effects of antimicrobial resistance, Mr George Hedidor, brought to bear the economic cost resistance brings to mankind and the need to preserve antibiotics for future generations

Matters arising were that, 

  • Most of the participants did not know antimalarials are not antibiotics.
  • they also assumed that anything in a capsule is an antibiotic 
  • some did not know that some microbes; bacteria are actually good
  • for some, viruses and bacteria are the same
  • why not to use antiseptics in washing the vagina
  • need to have good hygiene and exercise as a means of good health 
  • they also understood the fact that some bacteria are actually of benefit to man and live normally in harmony under normal states or nature
  • irresponsible use of antibiotics and mostly disturbs the balance of the harmonious relationship between man and microbes
  • Some did not know antibiotics are used in agriculture and fish and poultry farming

 

Some participants expressed worry about unlicensed medicine hawkers who also pose as medical doctors within the community and the need to put a stop to their work as they are misinforming the general public.  They called for stringent regulations to curb their activities and also make health care accessible to hard to reach communities.  

Participants called for intensive education on the responsible use of medicines and to spread this important message within the communities

 

Facilitators:

  • Brian Adu Asare, Programme Officer and Management Team Member
  • George Hedidor, Coordinator to ReAct CSOs project, Ghana
  • -Victoria Araba Dennis – President AWI

 

Venue:

GNAT Hall – West Fijai, Takoradi Western Region

 

Recorder:

George Hedidor

ReAct CSOs Coordinator

1st October 2014

 

CSO resources

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