Advertisement

Ministries And Bodies Come Together To Combat Antimicrobial Resistance

On 19 April, 11 ministries, including health, environment, agriculture, food and public distribution, came together for an inter-ministerial consultation to finalise a National Action Plan to combat antimicrobial resistance

The threat of antimicrobial resistance is worrisome for global health. Antimicrobial Resistance or AMR is the ability of microorganisms such as bacteria, parasites and viruses to resist an antimicrobial such as antibiotic, antiviral or antimalarial, thus rendering treatments futile and spreading infections.

On 19 April, 11 ministries, including health, environment, agriculture, food and public distribution, came together for an inter-ministerial consultation to finalise a National Action Plan to combat antimicrobial resistance.

The plan calls for a collaborative, multi-sector approach towards combatting AMR. According to Union health minister JP Nadda, “Single, isolated interventions have limited impact and coordinated action is required to minimise the emergence and spread of AMR.”

Others present at the meet on AMR containment included Ram Vila Paswan (minister of consumer affairs, food and public distribution), Anil Madhav Dave (minister of environment, forest and climate change) and Anupriya Patel (MoS, health and family welfare).

A “Delhi Declaration” was signed by the ministers, calling upon all stakeholders including UN Agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization, and other civil society organisations, to support the formulation of state and national plans to combat AMR.

In congruence with global practices, India’s plan includes objectives like reducing infections, strengthening surveillance (setting up of a national surveillance system to monitor sale of antibiotics), promoting research and the rational use of antibiotics and support neighbouring countries in the fight against infections.

“We are now ready with a blueprint that meets global expectations. The challenge now is in its efficient implementation through a coordinated approach at all levels of use of antibiotics,” Nadda said, urging all state governments to prepare state-specific action plans and promised them all possible assistance from the Centre.

The Delhi Declaration also urged to “recognise that the spread of AMR is negating many 20th century achievements, particularly reduction in illness and death from infectious diseases, and note with concern that without effective health and other multi-sectoral cooperation and action, AMR could cause millions of death worldwide”.

They also called for investments for activities, research and innovation with focus on development of new antibiotics, innovations in diagnostics and vaccines and the need for the AMR issue to be addressed comprehensively under ‘one health approach’ with multi-sector stakeholder collaboration.

CK Mishra, secretary - health and family welfare; Dr Soumya Swaminathan, secretary - Department of Health Research (DHR) and director general - Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR); Dr Jagdish Prasad of Directorate of Health Services; K. Vijay Raghavan, secretary - DHR; and Dr Henk Bekedam, WHO representative to India, along with senior officers of the health ministry, and the ministries of agriculture, pharmaceuticals, information and broadcasting, chemicals and fertilizers, water and sanitation, AYUSH, food processing industries, ICMR, and National Centre for Disease Control, were also present at the meet.

Amit Khurana of Centre for Science and Environment called for an “effective implementation of the plan requiring multi-ministerial involvement”, focusing on “both animal and environment dimensions of AMR”.

In 2015, WHO had passed a resolution calling for all member nations to draft national action plans to combat AMR by May 2017, which India has now finalised.



Advertisement

Around The World

Advertisement