Attention! Misuse/Overuse of Antibiotics accelerates Antibiotic Resistance.

India Becomes Largest Antibiotics Consumer Surpassing China, US, Says Report. An antibiotic is a medicine used to treat or prevent infections caused by bacteria. They work by blocking the growth of bacteria or destroying them. In India, between 2000 and 2015, antibiotic use increased by more than twofold, contributing to the development of antimicrobial resistance that leads to common infections.

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria develop the ability to survive exposure to antibiotics that were designed to kill them or stop their growth. India is stepping up its fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The ICMR has been on the resistance trail since 2014 when it set up six nodal centres in four hospitals to record and report drug resistance. With antimicrobial resistance on the rise, hospitals in South advised to avoid 3 antibiotics by ICMR. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics, self medication, lack of diagnostic facilities and poor stewardship practices have fuelled the problem of antibiotic resistance which is now assuming alarming proportions.

ICMR along with the Centre for Disease Control, USA started its first workshop on Antimicrobial Stewardship programme in Chennai to reduce inappropriate use of antibiotics in hospitals. Initiatives to improve the prescribing of antibiotics, to provide timely feedback and to classify different antimicrobials will be evaluated by the AMSP.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has begun four campaigns to tackle this public health threat – ‘Jaroorat Bhi Hai Kya’, ‘3A Avoid Antibiotic Abuse’, ‘Use Wisely not Widely’ and ‘Think Before you Ink’ – to sensitize healthcare professionals on the issue.

In Kochi, the draft guidelines on usage of antibiotics was released by state health minister V S Sivakumar at the national symposium on antibiotics stewardship and infection control.

In Mumbai, the bug is being recorded in 10-20 per cent of the patients in ICUs of major public hospitals.India has issued new national guidelines on their use as part of a drive to fight the rise of drug-resistant superbugs. Antibiotic-resistant neonatal infections claim the lives of 60,000 newborn babies each year, according to the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance paper published in 2016.

According to medical experts, third generation antibiotics — carbapenems — are not effective against the deadly pathogen, resulting in increased mortality among patients and estimated to have up to 50 percent resistance. The ICMR has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with pharma giant Pfizer Ltd for the establishment of a Centre to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance (CAMR) which will carry out a number of interventions, from setting up AMR stewardship schemes for nursing homes to increasing the current surveillance network to promote responsible antibiotic use.

To prevent and control the spread of antibiotic resistance, individuals can:

• Use antibiotics only if prescribed by a qualified physician.

• Never request antibiotics if your health care provider says you don’t need them.

• Always follow your healthcare provider’s advice when using antibiotics.

• Do not share or use leftover antibiotics.

• Prevent infection by washing your hands regularly, preparing meals hygienically, avoiding close contact with sick people, and keeping your vaccinations up to date. WHO’s five keys to making food safer: keep it clean, separate raw and cooked foods, cook thoroughly, store food at safe temperatures, clean water and safety

• Prepare food hygienically (using safe ingredients) and choose foods that are free of antibiotics.



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