The second in the trainer of trainers’ workshop on antibiotics resistance for CSOs in health came on at the Christian Council Centre in Tamale in the Northern region of Ghana.
This workshop was organised by the Integrated Development Centre (IDC) of the Ghana Coalition of NGOS in Health (GCNH); a partner member in the fight against antibiotic resistance in Ghana. The workshop forms part of activities to build the capacities of CSOs in health to include antibiotic resistance themes in their public health education and sensitisation programmes in their community.
The workshop was attended by about 35 participants made up of leaders and representatives of CSOs in health in the Northern region, members of IDC and the leaders of the GCNH.
Mr Kenneth Wujangi, the President of the GCNH and IDC, welcomed all participants and encouraged them to take active part in this workshop in order to be equipped with the right information on antibiotic resistance.
Speaking at the workshop, Mr George Hedidor, a Pharmacist and Coordinator to the ReACT CSOs project Ghana, gave a brief presentation and background to the workshop. He recalled to participants, a KABP survey which was organised on participants to identify knowledge and practice gaps on antibiotic use and resistance. He mentioned that, the gaps identified in the survey directed the content of the training for CSOs. He concluded on this section by saying that, a training manual has been developed and it is in the final draft. This manual will be printed and distributed to participants after feedback from all the training sessions with the other CSO members.
The workshop which was more plenary interspersed with activities and discussions. Participants were taken through the microbial world, bacteria and viruses, antibiotics, antibiotic resistance, the responsible use of antibiotics and the role of CSO in preserving antibiotics for future generations.
Mr Saviour Yevutsey, a management member of the ReAct CSOs project also spoke on the ministry of health’s drive towards policy actions on antimicrobial resistance in Ghana. He also addressed some pertinent practice questions on antibiotics from participants.
Some questions addressed in this training included:
- Since we are discouraging the use of antibiotics can we use Dettol to bathe?
- can you use Dettol and antibiotics containing washes for douching?
- is it ok to combine many antibiotics?
- What about the use of antibiotics in sores?
- noted that people as a practice put antibiotics eg. Tetracycline into 330ml of alcohol to treat gonorrhoea
- Why does the doctor not request for laboratory before prescription?
- will you advice someone to use antibiotics not prescribed?
Many of these questions were addressed scientifically and where possible practically to the understanding of participants.
Participants were asked to come out with slogans and take home messages. Some of these included:
- Discard unused antibiotics
- Use only prescribed antibiotics
- Alcohol plus antibiotics is equal to death
- Stop sharing antibiotics
- Antibiotics, not prescribed, not taken
- Antibiotic resistance, take action now
- Prevention is better than cure, stop antibiotic abuse
- Antibiotics, not prescribed, not used
- Antibiotics resistance take action now
- Caution, antibiotics does not treat all infections
- Fight antibiotic resistance for future generations
At the end of the workshop, participants also define some of their roles in the fight against antibiotic resistance. These include:
- go to the rural community to educate on antibiotic use and resistance
- train church leaders and other organised groups to educate their members
- use funeral grounds to educate people on antibiotics
- start practicing responsible use of medicines and antibiotics themselves
- train their members and others in their communities.
Others also called for stringent policies in the use of antibiotics to save the few affordable and accessible antibiotics available.