Antimicrobial resistance Current Affairs - 2019

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ICMR releases Antimicrobial Stewardship Guidelines to ensure judicious use of antibiotics in hospitals

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has released Antimicrobial Stewardship Guidelines to advise hospitals in setting up Antimicrobial Stewardship Programmes (AMSP) to ensure judicious use of antibiotics in healthcare facilities. AMS guidelines aims to provide guidance in setting up structure and processes of AMSP in healthcare institutions, discusses essential elements of antimicrobial stewardship and diagnostic stewardship and provide information on tools that can be used to measure progress.

What is AMSP?

It is hospital-based programmes dedicated to improving antibiotic use. It is helpful in improving quality of patient care and safety through increased infection cure rates, reducing treatment failures and increasing the frequency of correct prescription for therapy and prophylaxis

Need for AMSP

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major public health challenge. Since inappropriate use of antibiotics is rampant in India, there is urgent need to improve antibiotic use in hospitals. The increasing consumption of antibiotics is one of  key drivers of antimicrobial resistance seen in bugs.

Some of the key factors driving antimicrobial resistance in our country are irrational prescription of broad-spectrum antibiotics, poor regulations around sale of antibiotics, self-medication, lack of education and awareness regarding responsible use of antibiotics.

National Health Policy, 2017, terms antimicrobial resistance as one of key healthcare issues and prioritises development of guidelines regarding antibiotic use, limiting over-the-counter use of antibiotics and restricting use of antibiotics as growth promoters in livestock. It is important to use the existing drugs judiciously.

ICMR partners with Pfizer to combat antimicrobial resistance

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer have inked MoU to establish a ‘Centre to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance’ in New Delhi. The centre will help in combating the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in India.

Key Facts

The centre will help to expand ICMR’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Programme across country in phased manner with focus on smaller in-patient centres and also enhance its existing AMR Surveillance Programme by training specialists to run expanded network. It will also focus on awareness and advocacy programme using media and non-media platforms to disseminate information on antibiotic resistance and promote rational use of antibiotics.

Significance

The partnership will help to implement series of comprehensive interventions, ranging from AMR stewardship programmes for nursing homes. It will scale up ICMR’s existing AMR surveillance programme by training specialists to run expanded India surveillance network that will cover both private and government hospitals to collate, analyse and publish drug resistance data across all geographies in India.

National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (NAP-AMR)

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in April 2017 had finalised a NAP-AMR. It spells out six strategic priorities including improving awareness through communication, strengthening surveillance, education and training and promoting investments for AMR initiatives.