Anti microbial resistance

Anti microbial resistance

Anti Microbial Resistance (AMR) is not merely a health challenge or a threat to health security, but is also a development challenge with significant...

Anti Microbial Resistance (AMR) is not merely a health challenge or a threat to health security, but is also a development challenge with significant and serious economic consequences. The Union Health and Family Welfare Minister J P Nadda stated this in his address at the Asian Health Ministers meet on Antimicrobial Resistance, in Tokyo Saturday.

The Health Minister stated that “as we look forward to the UN High-Level Meeting on AMR later this year, we should reaffirm existing commitments and focus on mobilising the necessary resources for the implementation of AMR national action plans in all countries.” In 2011, the Health Ministers of the WHO South-East Asia Region articulated their commitment to combat drug resistance through the Jaipur Declaration.

Since then, there has been a growing awareness of the need for appropriate tracking of drug resistance, and all countries have agreed to contribute information to a regional database. The 2015 WHO multi-country survey revealed widespread public misunderstanding about antibiotic usage and resistance. The survey highlights for India are of concern:

Antimicrobial resistance is resistance of a microorganism to an antimicrobial drug that was originally effective for treatment of infections caused by it. The WHO survey in India stated that three quarters (75%) of respondents think, incorrectly, that colds and flu can be treated with antibiotics; and only 58% know that they should stop taking antibiotics only when they finish the course as directed.

More than three quarters (76%) of respondents report having taken antibiotics within the past 6 months; 90% say they were prescribed or provided by a doctor or nurse. AMR has huge implications for India. There is a need to have in place a good comprehensive AMR National Action Plan in line with the Global AMR action plan,” says Dr Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India.

An issue that needs to be addressed in India is the regulation of the medical sector, particularly in the prescription of medicines. Lack of knowledge among medical practitioners as well as general public on rational use of antibiotics aggravates the issue. Improved management of the health care delivery systems, both public and private, will minimize conditions favourable for the development of drug resistance. It is also important to improve efforts to prevent resistant infections by changing how we produce, prescribe and use antibiotics.

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