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,
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
GNAT Hall – West Fijai, Takoradi Western Region
ReAct CSOs Coordinator
1st October 2014