Source: The post is based on an article “The superbugs are here – and they are resistant to antibiotics” published in The Indian Express on 9th January 2023.
Syllabus: GS 2 – Health
Relevance: measures needed to tackle AMR
News: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), also called antibiotic resistance, is a global health challenge and a worrying public health crisis. The WHO has declared it as one of the top 10 health threats facing humanity.
How is AMR caused and what action has been taken by the government?
Read Here: What is AMR and its causes
Many countries including India have come up with AMR national action plans (NAPs) to tackle AMR.
However, the development and implementation of antimicrobial plans are not adequate. Therefore, other measures are required to reduce and reverse AMR.
What are the measures required to reduce AMR?
Prevention: Disease prevention and wellness are key to public health. Sanitation drives, clean water supply and hospital-driven infection-control programmes are needed to prevent AMR.
Prescribing antimicrobials judiciously: There is also a need to prescribe antimicrobials judiciously and only when they are absolutely needed.
Proper Coordination: There is a need for proper coordination amongst the animal industry and environmental sectors to prevent the unnecessary use of antibiotics in farms.
Robust surveillance systems: A robust surveillance system is needed that allow the detection of resistant pathogens of all kinds in the environment.
Investment in Research and Development: There is a need to invest heavily in research and development through both government and private funding. This will bring new antibiotics which could be an essential component in restoring the balance and ensuring fight against AMR.
However, the profits on these investments are negligible which could be a cause of concern.
Financial incentives: There is a need to formulate new types of financial incentives to measure return on investment and measure profitability of the antibiotic.