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Kerala to Unveil Anti-Microbial Resistance Strategic Action Plan

At a time when antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has emerged as a global public health concern, the state is set to unveil an AMR Strategic Action Plan. A first of its kind in the country itself, the plan will be unveiled by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday at Mascot Hotel. The plan that has been prepared with the help of World Health Organization and NGOs like Center for Science and Environment (CSE), New Delhi, will be implemented with the help of departments like Health, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Agriculture and Environment. “The Kerala Antimicrobial Resistance Strategic Action Plan (KARSAP) is based on One Health approach. Creating awareness among people and chemists as well as ensuring hygiene of hospitals becomes the core components of the said plan,” Health Minister K K Shailaja told reporters. According to the minister, in order to monitor the implementation of the plan and to coordinate the activities the Microbiology Wing of Thiruvananthapuram Medical College will act as the nodal agency.

In the case of the private sector, it will be Amrita Institute of Medical Science. She further said Rajiv Gandhi Center for Biotechnology has been asked to carry out research in AMR and to prevent it. “AMR is a reality in the state. Self-medication with antibiotics and AMR is correlated. Thus, awareness campaigns will be conducted with the help of Kerala State Drugs control Department, Kerala Government Pharmacists’ Association, Kerala Private Pharmacists Association and others,” said Shailaja. Earlier, as part of chalking out the AMR plan, the Directorate of Medical Education had come out with a document titled ‘Antimicrobial resistance and its containment in Kerala’. It is said while preparing the AMR plan, the Health Department had collaborated with CSE, an NGO which has been focusing on the animal and environmental aspects of AMR since 2009, and is engaging with agencies like WHO and FAO and several Asian and African countries to support the implementation of national action plan on AMR.

Containing AMR

AMR is the ability of a microorganism (like bacteria, viruses, and some parasites) to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials) from working against it. As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others KARSAP is in line with the National and Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance for AMR containment. Health Department says the AMR plan stresses intersectoral collaboration and One Health approach. The department is planning to widen the Antibiotic Stewardship Program (ASP) which ensures the right drug gets prescribed at the right time, in the right dose, for right duration and for the right patient. – New Indian Express