Good evening everyone. My name is Philip Smith and I am Country Director for the UK’s Department for International Development in Ghana and Liberia.
It is with great pleasure that, on behalf of the UK Government present here in Ghana, and as co-host of the Call to Action Event, I welcome you to this Fleming Fund reception this evening.
I want to first thank our hosts – His Excellency the President Nana Danqua Akufo Addo and the Health Minister for Ghana, Honourable Kwaku Agyeman for hosting this event. I’m sure you’ll agree it has been a highly successful first day.
I’d like to thank our co-hosts – the Royal Thai Government and the United Nations.
Thanks also to the Wellcome Trust in supporting the organisation of this event - a great example of your expanding global policy and research work on AMR.
My main message of thanks though is to the Government of Ghana for leading the global response to AMR. As we have heard today, AMR is one of the greatest threats to human health globally. There is much work to be done.
AMR is a poignant example, if one were needed, of a global problem where only a collective response, across governments and between peoples, will make a difference.
If we don’t take sufficient action, 10 million people will die annually from AMR-associated causes by 2050, and the majority of these deaths will occur in Africa and Asia.
In Ghana – as the Vice-President pointed out this morning – AMR could de-rail efforts to tackle the Sustainable Development Goals.
We are very pleased that the AMR Call to Action Conference is taking place here in Accra. Ghana is a development success story. It made huge progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, the precursor to the SDGs: including halving extreme poverty, establishing a social safety net system and a National Health Service – all of which will contribute towards mitigating the impact of AMR.
You will have heard today the phrase “Ghana Beyond Aid”. His Excellency the President’s vision for a self-reliant Ghana is truly inspiring and is applauded by the UK and all development partners. In the long term, economic development with investment and jobs is the sustainable pathway to self-reliance.
But “Ghana Beyond Aid” must address the issue of why, despite record economic growth, inequality in Ghana is rising. Ghana Beyond Aid can’t just be about Ghana’s “self-reliance” through industrialization. It has to be address the “self-reliance” of the poorest and most marginalized Ghanaians.
We must all maintain concerted efforts to address these inequalities not just in Ghana but across the world. It is, after all, the poorest and most vulnerable who are likely to be most affected by AMR. We bear them a huge responsibility for urgent, effective and collective action.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are delighted to have with us the UK Government’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, the UK’s AMR global champion.
I’d like to acknowledge her incredible work: without Dame Sally’s efforts to highlight AMR as a global public health threat and the work she has done to help build the international frameworks needed to take action, we would not be here today.
Dame Sally will announce new UK support to AMR in Ghana through the Fleming Fund.
So – as I welcome to the podium Dame Sally - thank you Ghana for your action on AMR. We are proud to be working in partnership with the Government of Ghana on this global issue.
It’s a great example of the UK and Ghana’s shared values and the ongoing and enduring UK-Ghana partnership.