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India develops National Action Plan to combat Antimicrobial Resistance(AMR)

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‘Inter-Ministerial Consultation on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Containment’ was held on April 19, 2017 in New Delhi. At this meeting, Union Health Minister J P Nadda announced the finalization of India’s comprehensive and multi-sectoral National Action Plan to combat Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

  • Mr. Ram Vila Paswan – Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Mr. Anil Madhav Dave – Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, and Ms. Anupriya Patel – MoS (Health & Family Welfare) were also present at this meeting.
  • ‘Delhi Declaration’ for collectively strategizing to contain AMR was signed by all the ministers present at the meeting.

Background Information:

In year 2015, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had released a Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and passed a resolution urging member countries to develop and submit country specific National Action Plans on AMR by May 2017.

What is Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)?

AMR is the evolutionary ability of microbes such bacteria, virus and parasite to become resistant to medicines which treat the diseases caused by them.

  • This phenomenon has been observed across the world. Due to this, available options to treat diseases caused by such microbes in animals and humans are becoming ineffective.
  • The WHO has termed AMR as a serious threat to the society which requires urgent collective action.

Objectives of India’s National Action Plan on AMR:India develops National Action Plan to combat Antimicrobial Resistance(AMR)

  • Strengthening surveillance
  • Reducing infections
  • Enhancing awareness
  • Advocating rational use of antibiotics
  • Promoting research
  • Supporting neighbouring countries in collective fight against infectious diseases

Important initiatives taken by Union Health Ministry:

  1. Setting up a National Surveillance System for AMR
  2. Enacted regulations (Schedule-H-1) to regulate sale of antibiotics
  3. Released National Guidelines for use of antibiotics

Mr. Nadda mentioned that India’s National Action Plan has incorporated inputs from various stakeholders. He added that the problem of AMR needs to be addressed holistically under “One Health Approach”. He urged all State Govts. to come up with state specific action plan on AMR and assured all possible support from Central Govt. for the same.