Kerala Launches Operation AMRITH To Combat AMR

Kerala Drug Control Department has taken a proactive step to deal with the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (via AMR) operation amrit (Antimicrobial Resistance Interventions for Total Health). this initiative It aims to curb overuse of antibiotics conducted surprise raids in pharmacies in the state and detected over-the-counter (OTC) sale of antibiotics without doctor’s prescription.

Understanding AMR

AMR, or antimicrobial resistance, refers to thThe ability of bacteria and germs to resist drugs used to prevent or kill them., AMR was recognized as a “silent epidemic” Linked to nearly 5 million deaths globally in 2019, Directly responsible for 1.3 million deaths.

role of drug controller

The Drug Controller of Kerala emphasized the important role played by the Drug Control Department in optimizing antibiotic use by curbing OTC antibiotic sales. Pharmacies are now required to maintain records of antibiotic sales and display posters that read “Antibiotics will not be sold without a doctor’s prescription.” Strict action will be taken against those who do not follow this.

public participation

To involve the public in this important initiative The U.S. Department of Drug Control encourages individuals to report pharmacies selling antibiotics without a prescription, A toll-free number has been provided to lodge complaints, and upon receipt, the complaints will be transferred to the zonal office for verification and immediate action.

Alignment with State Action Plan

Operation AMRUT activities are in line with Antimicrobial Resistance Strategic Action Plan of Kerala (KARSAP) and its Antibiotic Literacy Initiative. Kerala, being the first Indian state to have a State Action Plan on AMR in line with the national plan, launched the Antibiotic Literate Kerala campaign to raise awareness about AMR.

Phase out OTC antibiotic sales

The health department in Kerala is committed to Complete cessation of OTC antibiotic sales without prescription And strict action will be taken against the violating pharmacists. This step is important to prevent misuse of antibiotics and promote responsible antibiotic use.

Drug Take-Back Program

Kerala has implemented it Program on removal of unused medicines (PROUD) to ensure proper disposal of unused antibiotics. This drug take-back programme, launched in Thiruvananthapuram district in 2019, aims to prevent environmental pollution and further resistance development.

Global health and economic impacts

The World Bank estimated in 2017 that annual global health care costs could reach $1.2 trillion by 2050 under a high AMR impact scenario. Additionally, the world could lose 3.8% of GDP annually, Due to which up to 10 million deaths occur every year, Mainly in Asia and Africa. Kerala’s proactive measures contribute to the global fight against the economic and health impacts of AMR.

Kerala’s efforts on AMR surveillance

Apart from Operation Amrit, Kerala has made significant efforts in AMR surveillance. State launched Kerala Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (KARS-NET) for human surveillance in 2018-19. Additionally, in August 2023, the Kerala State Pollution Control Board inaugurated an AMR laboratory exclusively dedicated to environmental monitoring, emphasizing a comprehensive approach to combat AMR.

Important questions related to exam

1. What does AMR mean?

2. What is the primary goal of Operation Amrit in Kerala?

3. Which program in Kerala focuses on proper disposal of unused antibiotics?

Please share your feedback in the comments section.

Kerala launches Operation AMRITH to tackle AMR_40.1

Kerala launches Operation AMRITH to tackle AMR_50.1

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