The Deputy Director of Veterinary Services in Charge of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety, Dr Geoffrey Akabua, has appealed to licensed chemical sellers to direct people who report to them with dog bite cases to the nearest hospital for further investigations.
He cautioned them not to attempt to provide any form of treatment or vaccination to such victims, stating that licensed chemical sellers were not mandated to perform such illegal functions.
Dr Akabua was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Dormaa Ahenkro after a training programme for some selected poultry farmers, over-the-counter medicine sellers (OTCMS), veterinary medicine sellers and feed millers producers in Dormaa Central Municipality, on the implementation of the National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Policy.
The training was organized by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and sponsored by World Health Organization (WHO).
He lamented that the attitude of some doctors and medical practitioners who refused to send reports on people who reported at their health establishment with suspected cases of rabies to the veterinary officers in the district, did not help in the tracking of such victims and the dogs for investigations for possible signs of rabies.
Rabies is a viral disease prevented by vaccination both in animals and human, but chemical sellers could only provide first aid by washing the spot of the bite with running water and direct victim to the hospital. Any attempt by licensed chemical dealer to inject dog bite victim was punishable, since it could lead to the person’s death, he said.
He observed that the chemical sellers offered anti-tetanus serum to victims which cannot fight against viral infection, but gave hope to victims that they had been treated, adding that getting access to human rabies vaccine was not common.
The Deputy Director of Veterinary Services said the investigations carried out by the Veterinary officers to detect possible signs of rabies will inform and guide the medical practitioners on whether to continue with the treatment of rabies.
Dr Akabua said it was the duty of the veterinary officers to inspect rabies vaccination certificates and not doctors at the consulting rooms.
The Technical Officer, Pharmaceuticals of the Ministry of Health, Dr Brian Asare, mentioned that participants would be trained on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), how to control AMR and why the concern about AMR in human and animal health and the impact.
Speaking on the topic, Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial stewardship in human health, Dr Asare noted that microbes developed abilities to transfer, share characters and strength to each other leading to development of resistance against microbes.
He urged the participants to drink water frequently, ensure personal hygiene, environmental cleanliness and exercise regularly to develop AMR.
Giving an overview of Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial stewardship in Human Health, Professor Kwame Ohene Buabeng, Head of Department of Pharmacy Practice, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), said AMR had become a global issue with the abuse of antibiotics.
He urged chemical sellers to avoid the habit of been driven by money and guard against poor storage and substandard drugs, since fighting AMR issue was a shared responsibility.