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Kerala to unveil antimicrobial resistance action plan soon 

Antimicrobial resistance is the ability of microorganisms to stop an antimicrobial from working against it.

Published: 07th August 2018 05:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th August 2018 05:49 AM   |  A+A-

nipah

Kerala had plans to collaborate with New Delhi-based NGO Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) to strengthen its fight against AMR. (File | EPS)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With a special focus on infection prevention and control, the state will soon unveil its antimicrobial resistance (AMR) action plan. Though the Health Department was in the process of finalising the action plan, it was reportedly put on hold due to the Chief Minister’s directive. Sources said in the backdrop of the deadly Nipah virus outbreak in Kozhikode, the CM is said to have directed the authorities to “make necessary amendments to the action plan so as to incorporate aspects of infection prevention and control in the same”.

At the same time, it is learnt the Health Department also had plans to collaborate with New Delhi-based NGO Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) to strengthen its fight against AMR. As per the plan, the department will work along with CSE’s Food Safety and Toxins programme team to “help the state to develop and implement the action plan on AMR”.

“The preparation for the action plan is entering its final phase. Slight modifications to the said plan have been proposed and we were incorporating the same. In the backdrop of outbreaks like Nipah, the focus will be on infection prevention and control,” said Dr Sarada Devi K L of the Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram.Once the revised action plan is ready, it will be submitted to the Health Secretary and then to the CM. However, the the final approval will have to wait till the CM is back from his 13-day US visit, which will begin on August 19.

“The state is committed to continuing with its efforts in AMR surveillance. It has been decided to bring district hospitals under the ambit of this programme. This will come in addition to the surveillance of infections of public health importance at Government Medical Colleges and General Hospital, Ernakulam. The tie-up with CSE will bolster the efforts in this regard,” said Health Secretary Rajeev Sadanandan.

CSE has been focusing on animal and environmental aspects of AMR since 2009, as well as engaging with global agencies and several Asian and African countries to support the implementation of the national action plan on AMR.According to the Health Department, CSE will also work in tandem with Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Departments in building awareness against AMR and will help to develop an integrated AMR surveillance plan for the state.

What is AMR? 
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of microorganisms (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.
The state government is developing a state action plan on AMR, on the lines of National and Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance for AMR containment



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