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National Action Plan for antimicrobial resistance

AMR, including antibiotic resistance (ABR), is a global public health threat, as antibiotics and antimicrobials are becoming increasingly ineffective to treat common diseases.

The Indian NAP focuses on six strategic priority areas, namely awareness and understanding through education, communication and training, strengthening knowledge and evidence through surveillance, infection prevention and control, optimised antimicrobial use in health, animals and food, AMR-related research and innovation and strengthened leadership and commitment at international, national and sub-national levels.

Highlights of the plan on animal and environmental aspects include the following:

Education and training

• Revision of curriculum for professionals in food animal, agriculture and environment sector with focus on AMR
• Development of capacity through appropriate training on issues related to AMR among professionals in animal health, food industry, agriculture and environment

Surveillance

• Conducting national-level surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in animals, food and environment
• Conducting national-level surveillance of antimicrobial use (AMU) in animals, agriculture and food sectors
• Conducting national-level surveillance of antibiotic residues in food from animals and in environment, including waste from farms, factories making animal feed, processing meat, dairy, fish, veterinary and human health care settings, pharmaceutical industry

Infection prevention and control

• Establishment of infection prevention and control programmes in veterinary settings and animal husbandry
• Increased awareness, capacity building, training on bio-safety, bio-security, hygiene, good production practices, infection prevention and control among relevant stakeholders

Responsible and optimised antibiotic use

• Restricting and phase-out of non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in food animals such as their use as growth promoter and in disease prevention
• Restricting antibiotics in animal feed, feed premix and regulating their import, direct distribution and
online marketing
• Eliminating use of critically-important antimicrobials for humans in food animals
• Regulating availability of antibiotics in bulk and those sold online including in feed and feed premix
• Ensuring prescription sale of antibiotics and appropriate labelling of food from animals produced with or without routine use of antibiotics
• Development of an freshwater/inland fisheries policy
• Introducing programmes to support small and mid-size farmers to help them reduce use of antibiotics, avoid non-therapeutic use and move to safer alternatives; issue “pond health cards”; help them install necessary systems and infrastructure to prevent infection, support bio-security and waste management.

Focus on environment

• Reduction of environmental contamination with resistant pathogens and antimicrobial residues through strengthening of necessary laws and regulations, environment risk assessment; extended producer responsibility for expired/unused antibiotics

Practice question:

1. Which of the following is/are the salient features of the National Action Plan on anti-microbial resistance?
1. It aims at conducting national-level surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in animals, food and environment.
2. It aims at eliminating use of critically-important antimicrobials for humans in food animals
3. It aims at regulating the release of antibiotic waste and monitoring antibiotic residues in wastewater.

Codes:

a) 1 and 3

b) 2 and 3

c) 1 and 2

d) All

Ans: d

 

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