Ghana plans to manufacture over-the-counter antibiotics


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Proposals have been made to consider selling Class C antibiotic drugs as over-the-counter drugs, just like paracetamol, through licensed chemical vendors.

In Ghana, antibiotics are mainly prescription drugs, which are regulated to be sold and dispensed by pharmacies and health facilities.

However, it is very common to see these drugs sold over the counter by licensed chemical stores, leading to antibiotic resistance.

The misuse and abuse of antibiotics leads to antibacterial resistance, ineffective treatment and more health problems in the population, health experts have said.

Mr. Samuel Afari-Asiadu, a researcher and medical sociologist at Kintampo Health Research Center (KHRC) speaking to a team of journalists in Kintampo in Bono East region, said that antimicrobial resistance is among the top ten threats for public health worldwide. .

Journalists from public and private media are on a field visit to KHRC. The trip was organized by the African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN) in collaboration with KHRC to learn about some of the centre’s projects and as part of activities marking this year’s World Malaria Day. , which falls on April 25.

Over the years, KHRC has engaged in various researches on various diseases and issues including meningitis, malaria and antibiotics.

Mr Afari-Asiedu said that KHRC in 2016 launched a study in the region to assess the context of antibiotic use at the community level as part of a collaborative study in parts of Africa and Asia and some results show high inappropriate use. of antibiotics.

The need for research was needed to see if drugs such as flagyl, penicillin and others are no longer effective or are simply misused inappropriately.

Mr Afari-Asiedu said antibiotic resistance is more common in lower-middle-income countries due to easy access to these drugs.

He said there was therefore a need to discuss the feasibility of a policy that would have these drugs sold as over-the-counter drugs through the training of licensed chemical sellers.

He said the KHRC is working closely with the Ministry of Health’s Antimicrobial Resistance Task Force and a case is underway to see how to address challenges around the issue of easy access to antibiotics. as part of the larger problem of antimicrobial resistance. .

In 2019, the World Health Organization declared antimicrobial resistance one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity.

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites change over time and become unresponsive to drugs, leading to increased morbidity and mortality.

Health experts have warned that an increasing number of infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhea and salmonellosis (an infection with salmonella bacteria, usually caused by contaminated food or water) are becoming increasingly difficult to treat because fewer and fewer antibiotics are used to treat them. efficient.

The issue of antibiotic abuse is of concern as it is very common to see people using antibiotics such as tetracycline, ampicillin, amoxicillin and metronidazole for all sorts of illnesses.

Antibiotics are drugs used to treat bacterial infections and resistance is said to occur when bacteria change in response to the use and misuse of these drugs.

This group of drugs is prescribed for use against a host of bacterial infections such as pelvic inflammatory infections, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, sepsis, cholera, typhoid fever, vaginosis, bowel infections, eyes, ears, skin, genitals, chest and respiratory infections, meningitis and sexually transmitted infections among others.

By Eunice Menka
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