Friday, 22 May 2015

Anti- microbial resistance

India has said the issue of anti- microbial resistance (AMR) should be seen holistically as a "development challenge" instead of interpreting it narrowly as a health security risk.

"We believe that AMR should be seen from a broader perspective as a development challenge rather than limiting it to a health security risk," Dr E Vishnu Vardhan Reddy, Second Secretary at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN said here during a debate on the draft global action plan on AMR at the 68th World Health Assembly (WHA).

"Emphasis should be on raising awareness, infection prevention, promoting rational use of antibiotics and addressing the needs of developing countries in strengthening access to health care facilities, promoting availability and affordability of existing and new antibiotics, diagnostics and vaccines," he said highlighting India's position on the AMR issue.

Developing countries and health activists have been concerned about resources for implementing AMR plans particularly, affordable and point of care diagnostics to inform health practitioners and veterinarians of the susceptibility of pathogens to available antibiotics.

The draft in its current form emphasises surveillance but does not mention any financial commitment crucial for developing countries to implement the plans, developing countries and health activists have argued.

AMR can develop in human and animal health as well as through food and agriculture sectors.

WHO has warned of a "post-antibiotic era" where common infections could become difficult to treat due to the overuse or misuse of antibiotics and other microbial medicines.

All member states are expected to have in place within two years of the endorsement of the draft action plan by WHA, national action plans on AMR aligned with the global plan.

Reddy also pointed out that there is not only a need to accelerate research and development for new antibiotics since no new class of antibiotics has been developed in the last 30 years but also for the global health body to ensure the affordability of new antibiotics.

In May 2014, the 67th WHA had adopted a resolution to draft a global action plan to combat anti-microbial resistance, including antibiotic resistance, to be submitted in this WHA.

Source: Business Standard (PTI)

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