We collaborated with the University of Dundee and the University of Ghana to organize a lecture on the topic “Antimicrobial Resistance: The Silent Pandemic the Urgent Need for New Drugs” to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance on 6th February, 2023. The lecture which was given by the Director, Prof. Dorothy Yeboah-Manu and Prof. Ian Gilbert (University of Dundee) at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, formed part of University of Dundee’s Africa lecture series on ‘Antimicrobial Resistance: The Silent Pandemic to develop new drugs’, particularly for diseases like TB and those caused by parasites.
In her presentation, Prof. Yeboah-Manu explained that a study conducted at the Institute in 2008 and within the West Africa Network for Tuberculosis indicated that there is the need for Multidrug-resistant (MDR) which is on either second line anti-TB drug resistant.
She also stated that although little is said about AMR, it is a bigger problem than HIV and malaria, adding that “In 2019, almost 5 million people died as a result of AMR. The hardest hit region in the world is Africa and within Africa, the most affected is West Africa”.
Prof. Yeboah-Manu reiterated that the fight against AMR requires collaborative efforts and for this to happen, there is the urgent need for all industry players to work together as a team, leverage on capabilities through which a lot of impact can be made.
Prof. Ian Gilbert, in his lecture, indicated that most people who die from malaria are children under the age of five (5) and pregnant women. This, he said, calls for the need for development of new drugs to treat and prevent malaria.
Prof. Gilbert noted that malaria elimination will require new drug chain and explained that “There is a lot of work to be done. We cannot do drug discovery on our own. We need to work together and this requires leveraging on drug discovery capabilities and capacity in all areas”.
The lecture was well attended by staff of the Institute, partners from the University of Dundee, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Centre Anti-Infectives Research (WCAIR) LifeArc, LGenia, members of the University of Ghana community and the general public.