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Drug Resistance

A recent Indian Council of Medical Research Study found that about 2 in every 3 healthy Indians possessed anti-microbial resistance microbes in their digestive tract.

What is Antimicrobial Resistance?

1. Antibiotics are the essential drugs that protect the body from disease-causing microbes.

2. They have helped us to increase life expectancy and medical care.

3. Also, Antibiotics fights only bacteria not a virus

4. However, unsystematic and rampant misuse of antibiotics over a period reduces their efficacy and renders them ineffective against the microbes.

This phenomenon is called Antimicrobial resistance.

When does it occur?

1. 4 D Usage neglecting medical prescription - Disproportionate Drugs, Dosage and Duration.

2. Rampant Use in livestock, poultry animals for growth promotion

3. Intake of antibiotics for even common diseases

4. Improper disposal of residual antibiotics.

5. Inappropriate food handling practices.

6. It can spread among humans and animals.

Why is it a Concern?

1. UN report on Antimicrobial resistance states that annually 7 lakh deaths occur due to AMR which may increase to 10 million deaths by 2050.

2. In India, Antibiotics consumption has increased 103% between 2000-2015 and is the largest consumer of antibiotics which increases the vulnerability of the public health.

3. The world is heading rapidly towards a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections will once again kill.

4. Risk of becoming resistant to high-end antibiotics will increase new and chronic disease

5. It poses danger to progress made in Public health, food security and development.

Which are the efforts taken so far? 


National Policy for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance, 2011

1. Aims to understand the emergence, spread and factors influencing AMR.

2. Setup Antimicrobial program to rationalize the use of antibiotics.

3. Innovate newer, effective antimicrobials

4. Put in place effective AMR surveillance System

5. Increase Public health expenditure.

6. Better regulation of Private healthcare.


GLASS- Global Antimicrobial surveillance system.

It was started in 2015 to facilitate work with WHO collaboration centers and existing surveillance Networks across the globe.

Guidelines on AMR 

1. Scale up finance and capacity building against AMR.

2. Support Awareness program for the prudent use of Antibiotics.

3. Put in strong regulatory systems for surveillance and sales.

4. Invest in research for new tech to combat AMR.

How can we prevent it?

WHO advocates for collaborative actions by all stakeholders on the prevention of AMR.


1. Use antibiotics only when prescribed and prudently.        

2. Behavior change – Educate, train and motivate through WASH Initiatives (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene).


1. Ensure robust action plan to tackle AMR.

2. Improve surveillance of Infections.

3. Regulate and promote the appropriate use of quality medicine.

4. Make information available to the public about AMR.

Health Professionals         

1. Ensure proper reporting of infections.

2. Regulation of Over the counter (OTC) Sale of antibiotics.

3. Spread awareness about the usage of antibiotics among ppl.

Sector Wise

Health sector        

 1. Invest in R&D of new antibiotics, vaccines.

Agriculture sector

1. Give antibiotics only in prescribed limits.

2. Don’t use antibiotics for growth promotion.

3. Vaccinate animals to reduce the need for antibiotics.

4. Promote Good food production and processing practices like GMP, Halal certifications.

5. Improve the Biosecurity of farms.