ICMR partners with Pfizer to combat antimicrobial resistance
New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has partnered with Pfizer Ltd to establish a ‘Centre to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance’ in New Delhi.
The project will help address the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in India. The joint initiative will implement a series of comprehensive interventions, ranging from AMR stewardship programmes for nursing homes to scaling up of the ongoing AMR surveillance network and creating awareness around responsible use of antibiotics. Pfizer has provided an initial grant of Rs6.97 crore for this initiative with a provision to scale up further as the programme expands.
“The government is developing a national response mechanism to adeptly deal with the growing challenge of anti-microbial resistance. It is important to channel all necessary resources in developing, implementing and monitoring antibiotic resistance to minimize its adverse impact, which is posing a huge threat to both health and food security. Infections such as pneumonia, TB etc. are becoming difficult to treat due to decreased effectiveness arising out of irrational usage of antibiotics,” said K. VijayRaghavan, secretary, Department of Health Research and director general, ICMR.
The dedicated centre for AMR will serve as a nodal point to launch interventions in the three areas of stewardship, surveillance and awareness. The aim is to expand ICMR’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Programme across the country in a phased manner with focus on smaller in-patient centres (smaller hospitals and nursing homes).
Under the programme, ICMR’s existing AMR surveillance programme will be enhanced by training specialists to run an expanded India surveillance network that would cover both private and government hospitals to collate, analyse and publish drug resistance data across all geographies in India.
Recognizing AMR as an important area to tackle, the government in April 2017 finalized a National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (NAP-AMR).
The NAP-AMR spells out six strategic priorities including improving awareness through communication, education and training, strengthening surveillance and promoting investments for AMR initiatives.
The interventions undertaken as part of this partnership will align with these strategic priorities and support the NAP-AMR’s goal of effectively combating antimicrobial resistance in India.
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