According to the World Health Organisation [WHO] Antimicrobial Resistance [AMR] is one of the top 10 threats to global health in 2019. The others are HIV, Ebola, Dengue, Vaccine hesitancy, air pollution and climate change.
WHO has warned that drug resistance is driven by overuse of antimicrobials in people and animals. With the inability to prevent infections, surgery and procedures such as chemotherapy could be compromised. In India, widespread and indiscriminate use of antibiotics along with drugs entering our food and water, AMR poses a serious threat.
Taking all this into consideration, the union Health Ministry has formulated the National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance [NAP AMR]. It is understood that the government will frame guidelines regarding antibiotic use and over the counter sales. It will consider ban or restrict their usage as growth enhancers in livestock. It will also seek to improve prescription audits in hospitals and the medical community.
Doctors are of the opinion that more needs to be done as most people in our country buy antibiotics over the counter for cough, cold and injuries without a doctor’s prescription. This needs to be stopped first or the crisis will only worsen.