The deputy director of veterinary services in charge of public veterinary health and food safety, Dr. Geoffrey Akabua, has appealed to licensed chemical vendors to refer those who report dog bites to the nearest hospital for further investigation.
He warned them not to offer any form of treatment or vaccination to such victims and stated that licensed chemical vendors were not assigned to perform such illegal functions.
Dr. Akabua spoke in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Dormaa Ahenkro after a training program for some selected poultry farmers, non-prescription drug sellers (OTCMS), veterinary drug sellers and feed mill manufacturers in the central municipality of Dormaa about the implementation of the National Action Plan to Combat Antibiotic Resistance ( AMR).
The training was organized by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO).
He complained that the demeanor of some doctors and doctors who refused to send reports to veterinary officers in the district about people who had reported suspected rabies in their health facility did not help track down such victims and the dogs to investigate possible signs of rabies.
Rabies is a viral disease that vaccinations prevent in both animals and humans. However, chemical vendors can only provide first aid by washing the site of the bite with running water and taking it straight to the hospital. Any attempt by a licensed chemical dealer to inject victim of a dog bite is a criminal offense as it could lead to the death of the person, he said.
He observed that chemical vendors offered anti-tetanus serum to victims who cannot fight viral infections, but gave the victims hope that they had been treated, adding that access to rabies vaccines was not common for humans.
The deputy director of the veterinary service said the examinations carried out by the veterinary officers to detect possible signs of rabies would inform doctors and guide them on whether to continue treating rabies.
Dr. Akabua said it is the duty of the veterinary officers to check rabies vaccination certificates and not the doctors in the consulting rooms.
The Ministry of Health’s technical officer for pharmaceuticals, Dr. Brian Asare, mentioned that attendees would be trained on antibiotic resistance (AMR), control of AMR, and concerns about AMR for human and animal health and effects.
Dr. Speaking on the subject of Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Responsibility for Human Health, Asare noted that microbes developed the ability to transmit, share character and strength, which led to the development of resistance to microbes.
He urged participants to drink water frequently, maintain personal hygiene and environmental sustainability, and exercise regularly to develop AMR.
Professor Kwame Ohene Buabeng, Head of the Department of Pharmaceutical Practice at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), gave an overview of antibiotic resistance and antimicrobial responsibility for human health and said AMR has become a global problem in antibiotic abuse .
He urged chemical vendors to avoid the habit of being driven by money and protect themselves from poor storage and substandard drugs, as fighting the AMR problem was a shared responsibility.