Kerala will be the first State to implement a comprehensive action plan to contain antimicrobial resistance (AMR), an emerging public health concern, across health and allied sectors, on the One Health platform.
The action plan, drawn up with multi-sectoral coordination and in alignment with the national and global action plans, will be implemented with the technical support of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and a host of collaborations with NGOs and pharma majors, with whom the government has signed memorandums of understanding.
The action plan is expected to be formally rolled out on October 25 by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan
Inappropriate use of antibiotics in human beings, animals, poultry, horticulture, and fisheries for growth promotion and disease prevention has been contributing to the rise in AMR.
Because of the use of animal manure in agriculture and the discharge of improperly treated effluents from farms and health care facilities, the toxins have found their way to the soil, raising concerns about food safety and the emergence of drug-resistant food-borne pathogens. The strength of Kerala’s action plan is that it is founded on the platform of One Health.
Strengthening laboratory capacity and collating data are necessary to assess the baseline AMR burden. Government medical college hospitals (MCHs) are tracking infections in blood stream, skin and soft tissue, respiratory system and urinary tract, as well as six pathogens.
The AMR surveillance network, operational in all MCHs and some major private hospitals, will be extended to other hospitals and laboratories so that a community-level picture of drug-resistance emerges.