The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) is excited to join the Global movement on Antimicrobial Resistance, the World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Health Organisation for Animal Health (WHOA), United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the Ministry of Health Ghana (MOH), Ministry of Environment Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD),  Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Ghana Health Service and all other stakeholders in the fight against the menace of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to commemorate the 2023 World Antimicrobial  Resistance Awareness Week (WAAW) now known as World AMR Awareness Week (WAAW). This annual event provides us with a unique opportunity to reflect on the critical problem of AMR and its profound impact on our health, economies, and the very fabric of our societies. Today’s programme is an URGENT CALL TO ACTION ON ANTIMICROBIAL MANAGEMENT AND USE.

Ladies and gentlemen, I want to begin by sharing some alarming facts and figures that underscore the urgency of our collective action in the fight against AMR. According to the Global Research on Antimicrobial Resistance (GRAM) report, in 2019 alone, an estimated 1.27 million lives were claimed directly by drug-resistant infections. The overall toll increased to 4.95 million deaths from complications of resistant bacterial infections.

To put into perspective, these figures surpass the mortality rates attributed to HIV/AIDS and Malaria, making AMR a major killer globally. It is one of the leading global health challenges of the 21st century, with Africa having the world’s highest mortality rate from AMR related infections, resulting in over 27 deaths per 100,000.

Disturbingly, evidence available suggests that one in five deaths in children under the age of five is from drug resistant bacteria infections.

A major contributor to AMR is indiscriminate and excessive use of antibiotics in human health care, animal husbandry, food production etc.

It is estimated that if the use of antimicrobials in health systems are not efficiently controlled and drug resistant microbes continue to spread, AMR related illnesses could account for a staggering 10 million deaths worldwide by the year 2050.

The economic repercussions are equally daunting. By 2050, AMR is projected to account for a loss of 3.8% of the world’s annual gross domestic product (GDP). Closer on the horizon, by 2030, the GDP shortfall due to AMR could amount to about US$3.4 trillion per year.

This economic fallout threatens to push additional 24 million into extreme poverty, with stronger impact in low- and middle-income countries like Ghana that have a greater burden of the AMR challenge.

Compounding the mentioned AMR crisis is the stark reality that little of very fewer investment is going into the discovery and development of new classes of antimicrobials.

More so, the process of developing a new antibiotic is time-consuming and financially burdensome, taking about 10-15 years and costing over $1 billion. This dearth of innovation leaves us vulnerable, as our arsenal against microbial infections stagnates in the face of evolving AMR threats.

In the face of these staggering figures, it is evident that we stand at a critical juncture.

Our response to AMR must therefore be swift, co-ordinated, and unwavering. As we commemorate the  2023 World AMR Awareness Week, let us remember that the choices we make today will shape the health and well-being of generations to come.

Theme: “Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together”

The theme for this year’s WAAW is, “Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together,” which underscores the collective responsibility we share in addressing this global challenge.

AMR knows no borders, it is a threat that transcends nationalities, demographics, and socio-economic status. The consequence of antimicrobial resistance is severe and far-reaching. At its core, AMR undermines the efficacy of antibiotics, antivirals, and antifungals—the very essential tools we rely on to treat infections and safeguard public health. When these antimicrobials become less effective or entirely ineffective, we face the grim prospect of routine medical procedures becoming life-threatening, and the once-treatable infections transforming into persistent threats.

Moreover, the increased healthcare cost associated with prolonged treatments of non-responsive drug resistant infections, loss of productivity due to illness, and the potential disruptions to food production systems amplify the economic burden of AMR. If the pragmatic efforts that are instituted by the quadripartite are not sustained to contain AMR, the economic consequences associated with it could undermine progress in areas such as poverty reduction, education, and overall societal well-being.

A call to action

As the world gears up to the United Nations high level meeting (UNGA) on AMR in 2024, it is important that Ghana strategises to have one voice with all stakeholders to ensure a real call to action before the 2030 SDG timelines. It is the reason,  the PSGH calls upon all policymakers in the AMR space, health professionals, pharmacy regulatory agencies, and the general public to join forces in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. Our collective action is crucial to stem the tide to contain the development and spread of AMR. As the leaders entrusted with shaping health and development policies, policymakers must prioritize and invest in initiatives that promote responsible antimicrobial use, surveillance, and research. The MOH, MESTI, MOFA, MOFAD and related agencies should ensure the full action of the reviewed National Policy on Antimicrobial Use and Resistance and its attendant Action Plan, to make it a timely document to support full implementation.

I urge all one-health professionals, including pharmacists, to play a pivotal role on the front lines of this battle. AMR transcends health and must be linked to the Sustainable Development Goals, since food security would be hampered, and our planet health would also not be in good shape, if we do not pay attention to antimicrobial stewardship for all the sectors.

We need to uphold the principles of antimicrobial stewardship, educating colleague pharmacists and other health professionals and the general public on the proper use of antimicrobials, and advocating for evidence-based practices to improve outcomes of individuals sick with microbial infections.

We call on government to support the AMR Platform and all relevant institutions to improve surveillance of AMR and other initiatives in the national action plan with strong regulatory and legal framework.

We also ask Government to start the preparations by convening a national dialogue to brain storm what messages need to fit into the African Union roadmap towards the UNGA 2024. Key areas on Governance, Financing and Evaluation of National Action Plans, and data require thinking through as a country.

To the general public, we implore you to become informed advocates for your own health. Demand responsible practices from healthcare providers that could improve your health, adhere to prescribed treatment regimens for infections, and resist the temptation to self-medicate with antimicrobial agents or to use it to treat your sick animals. Recognize that the containment of AMR is a shared responsibility that requires a collective commitment.

In the face of the global threat posed by AMR, the PSGH earnestly implores the media to lend its influential voice to the fight against this silent pandemic. As storytellers and communicators, you possess the power to shape narratives, foster awareness, and drive societal change.

By leveraging your platforms to disseminate accurate information, share personal stories, and advocate for responsible antimicrobial use, you can play a pivotal role in galvanizing public support, inspiring policy changes, and ultimately safeguarding the efficacy of our precious antibiotics. The time to act is now, and the media’s participation in this critical campaign is indispensable for a healthier, more resilient global future.

The PSGH will collaborate with stakeholders and the media, to implement policies and content on adhering to infection – prevention and control interventions such as improved environmental sanitation, access to clean and portable water, hand hygiene practices and vaccination.


In conclusion, as we commemorate the 2023 World AMR Awareness Week, let us remember that preventing antimicrobial resistance is not a task for scientists, policymakers, or one-health professionals alone. It is a shared responsibility that requires a united front from all sectors of society. By working together, we can safeguard the efficacy of our life-saving medications, protect our communities, and ensure a healthier, more prosperous future for generations to come.



Thank you.