By Dr Ranga Reddy Burri This article was originally published in Public Health Trends Newsletter. Background Antimicrobial resistance is a significant threat to public health. Various organizations and individuals have raised the alarm against this threat, which may take us back to the pre-antibiotic era, nullifying modern medical science gains. The silent pandemic AMR, like … Continue reading Tackling Antimicrobial resistance (AMR): from rhetoric to action
By Pankaj Dhaka and J.S. Bedi The discovery of the antibiotic Penicillin by Alexander Fleming in the year 1928 spawned the antibiotics era in the infectious disease treatment paradigm, wherein experts rightly described antibiotics as a "miracle drug". The world before the discovery of antibiotics was so vulnerable to infections that even a minor cut … Continue reading Antimicrobial Resistance: We MUST discuss it, we MUST stop it
Philip Mathew is a public health researcher and currently AMR advisor at The International Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance Solutions. Philip also served as a consultant at the ReAct Asia Pacific, a global network dedicated to tackling the problem of antibiotic resistance. ReAct was one of the first international networks to articulate the complex nature of antibiotic resistance and advocates for the need for multidisciplinary and multisectoral collaborations in addressing it. Philip recently spearheaded a consultation meeting with a diverse set of stakeholders including, Superheroes Against Superbugs, on the feasibility of a State Action Plan on AMR in Telangana. In this interview, Philip takes us through various ways in which ReAct is spreading awareness and promoting community and policy action to address the growing problem of AMR in India and globally.
The development of new antimicrobials and other biomedical interventions alone will not be enough to fight AMR, controlling Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) will be key. Uma Bala Pamidimukkala plays the role of a Superbugs Inspector in a city hospital. She is an Additional Professor in the Department of Microbiology at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), Hyderabad, where her work involves the identification of disease-causing microorganisms and providing information to doctors on whether or not these pathogens are susceptible to antimicrobials. This in turn helps doctors to optimise treatment and in avoiding inappropriate use of antimicrobials. Uma Bala is also a part of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Programme that organizes different workshops to spread awareness on the different aspects of infection, disease control and its prevention to ensure infections, including AMR infections, do not escape into the environment. In this interview, Uma Bala shares her experience of working in public hospitals that are proven to be hubs for HAIs and AMR infections and talks about the various challenges that one faces stopping the spread of AMR in these settings.
Agriculture, on which 70% of the rural households are dependent, accounts for around 22% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of our country. Even though agriculture forms the backbone of our economy, Indian farmers are under a lot of distress due to multiple social, economic and environmental factors which are threatening their livelihood. One of the ways in which farmers protect their crops from diseases is by using antibiotics. This rampant and excessive use of antibiotics in agriculture today is a major driver of AMR. But do farmers have a choice? As a veteran agricultural researcher and an experienced executive director of a non-profit organization, Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA), G.V. Ramanjeneyulu shares his thoughts on controlling the spread of AMR in agriculture.
Suman Kapur and her team based at BITS Pilani, Hyderabad, have developed a unique device called RightBiotic that rapidly identifies antibiotic sensitivity of pathogens found in human Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) and helps a medical professional identify the right kind of antibiotics to use to treat the infection. For her efforts, Suman has received the All-India Women Entrepreneur Award 2021 in the category of Super Achiever by the Delhi Management Association. She was also recognized as one of 100 Women Achievers by the President of India in 2015. The RightBiotic team was awarded the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award in 2015. In this interview, Suman takes us through the science behind RightBiotic and why it is an effective biomedical tool to control the rise of superbugs.
Jyoti Joshi, Head of South Asia, Center for Disease Dynamics Economics and Policy (CDDEP), is a public health researcher studying drivers of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and has co-authored a critical scoping report on the Antimicrobial Resistance Research Landscape in India. Jyoti has also been closely involved in improving immunization coverage across India including the Mission Indradhanush of the Government of India. In this interview, Jyoti shares important insights on various aspects of AMR to help us understand that solving this crisis would require action at every level of society across the world.