New Delhi: Union Minister Parshottam Rupala on Tuesday stressed the need to create more awareness among farmers about antimicrobial resistance, which has emerged as a serious health problem globally. Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Addressing a stakeholders’ workshop on “national action plan to combat antimicrobial resistance” organised with the support of UN body Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Rupala said: “The pandemic highlighted the need to address the issues of endemic diseases. We need to address environmental health as well as animal health along with our efforts to ensure quality human healthcare systems and initiatives”. Since animals are at the core of zoonotic disease emergence, sincere and coordinated efforts are required to strengthen the overall animal health infrastructure and capacity at state, regional, and national levels, the minister for animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries said.
He also emphasised the need to focus on three areas — awareness building, adopting wellbeing for all with Ayurveda practices and ensuring cleanliness.
Stating that AMR has emerged as one of the principal public health problems of the 21st century, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Secretary Atul Chaturvedi said the central government, in coordination with FAO, has started review and revision of the National Action Plan for AMR.
“On the revision of the plan for livestock, more states will be motivated to develop State Action Plans for AMR to launch state-specific initiatives for effective containment of AMR in states and well as in the country,” he added.
To tackle the challenges of zoonotic diseases and AMR, the secretary said that implementing the “One Health framework” is imminent and most urgent.
To address this, a “one health support unit” has been set up, comprising of domain experts across veterinary science, epidemiology, wildlife, disease diagnosis, laboratory assessor, data standards, and human health sectors, he added.
According to the ministry, the WHO had spearheaded the development of a ‘Global Action Plan on AMR’, which was approved in 2015.
In April 2017, India was amongst the first nations to have launched the National Action Plan (NAP) for AMR for 2017-2021. Many activities have since been undertaken as per the Action Plan, it said in a statement.