- The recent publication of The Lancet’s global burden of bacterial antimicrobial resistance highlights the necessity of a robust AMR policy.
What does the report say?
- It estimated that 4.95 million deaths were associated with bacterial AMR in 2019 alone.
- It also identified the pathogens and pathogen-drug combinations that cause such resistance.
What is AMR?
- Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of microorganisms to persist or grow in the presence of drugs designed to inhibit or kill them.
- It occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.
- These drugs, called antimicrobials, are used to treat infectious diseases caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoan parasites.
- WHO has declared that AMR is one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity.
Reasons for AMR
- Indiscriminate use of antibiotics
- Availability of antibiotics over the counter
- Poor hygiene and sanitation
- Antimicrobial use in the farming and poultry industry
- Lack of vaccines and newer antibiotics
- Poor infection control practices in hospitals.
Government measures against AMR
- India released its own AMR action plan in 2017, and announced a task force for implementation.
- By 2019, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh had rolled out State action plans and 11 other States are still framing their action plans.
- The Chennai Declaration, a consortium of doctors and health-care institutions against AMR, was also formed in 2012 to draw up a road map.
- The ban on Colistin in the poultry, aqua farming and animal feeds supplements sectors, which India enforced from July 2019, was considered a strong strike in countering the AMR challenge.
What is the issue?
- Apart from the realm of science, there is also a correlation between AMR and poor hygiene, lax administrative governance and poor ratio of public-private expenditure.
- While the scientific community looks for solutions in its domain, besides regulating the sale and use of antibiotics, governments must
- Raise the standard of living for citizens.
- Provide them accessible and affordable quality health care.