Antibiotics off the menu drive still a non starter

Antibiotics off the menu drive still a non starter
Highlights

The campaign ‘Antibiotics off the menu’ has proved to be damp squib as the departments that are supposed to coordinate during month-long campaign, including Medical, Health and Animal Husbandry are yet to ‘own it’. Though the scheme was launched two-weeks ago by Finance Minister Eatela Rajender, official sources said it is yet to take off. 

Hyderabad: The campaign ‘Antibiotics off the menu’ has proved to be damp squib as the departments that are supposed to coordinate during month-long campaign, including Medical, Health and Animal Husbandry are yet to ‘own it’. Though the scheme was launched two-weeks ago by Finance Minister Eatela Rajender, official sources said it is yet to take off.

According to official sources, the concerned departments were asked to provide the programme and schedule for the campaign, but they are yet to come up with inputs on this. “We have been asking the departments. If they provide information, DSOs (District Supplying Officer) and other officials will be coordinating with them. Nothing has been started yet. If they provide us information we will prepare the material. Since antibiotics is their subject, we have sought inputs form them for launching the campaign,” said an official.

With the objective of generating awareness amongst consumers about usage of antibiotics, the Telangana government on March 15, officially launched a month long ‘antibiotics off the menu’ campaign on the occasion of World Consumer Day. Besides Department of Food and Civil Supplies, the Department of Medical and Health, the Department Animal Husbandry, Consumers societies and Farmers associations and several NGOs were roped in for creating awareness amongst the consumers across the State.

The government had launched the campaign after activists and agriculture experts had raised alarm. Ramanjaneyulu, an expert in Sustainable Agriculture found that poultry and even sheep were administered with antibiotics. He pointed out that poultry are given large doses of antibiotics, eggs and chicken carry them and pass them on to human beings who consume them. “This makes them resistant to antibiotics. Gradually, they develop resistance and pass it on to human beings,” he noted.

Speaking to The Hans India, Rajath Kumar Commissioner of Civil Supplies and Principal Secretary, Consumer Affairs said that the campaign was launched but the concerned departments were asked to own it. Since, it involves people to be sensitised and monitoring, the Departments of Medical, Health and Animal Husbandry were asked the concerned officials to directly get involved.
“We shall be speaking to these departments so that the purpose of the campaign is met,” said the Commissioner.

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