The move will encourage other states to develop their own plans, which in turn, will help in tackling antimicrobial resistance on the national level
On July 26, 2019, the Madhya Pradesh State Action Plan for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance (MP-SAPCAR) was released by Tulsiram Silawat, the health minister of Madhya Pradesh (MP), at a stake-holder meeting in Bhopal.
With this, MP has become the second state in India after Kerala to develop an action plan to manage antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The MP-SAPCAR focuses on a ‘One Health’ approach to containing AMR through six key strategic priority areas and multi-sectoral involvement.
AMR is a global public health threat, according to the World Health Organization. Misuse of antibiotics in humans, animals, and aquaculture contributes to AMR. Also, poor management of waste from farms, factories, healthcare settings and households adds to the problem.
With rising AMR, antibiotics are increasingly becoming ineffective for treating diseases in humans. If there is no timely containment, AMR is likely to cause nearly 10 million deaths by 2050 and result in significant global economic losses.
It would also impact nutrition security, livelihood and hinder the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
MP-SAPCAR aims to holistically address AMR in the state. For example, it talks about carrying out state- level AMR surveillance across all sectors including human health, animal husbandry, fisheries, environment, and food.
Further, it aims to track antibiotic use in humans, animals, fisheries, crops, as well as ensure effective infection prevention and control in human and animal health, community and environment.
Optimised use of antimicrobial agents in the health, animal and food sectors is another area of focus. To accomplish these, the MP-SAPCAR brings on-board relevant stakeholders such as state departments of health, animal husbandry, fisheries, food and drug administration, agriculture, and the MP pollution control board.
It also recognises the crucial role of professionals and regulators across these multiple sectors for the overall success of AMR containment.
“It is a good initiative by the state of Madhya Pradesh. Other states should also come forward and develop their AMR state action plans for effective implementation of India’s national action plan on AMR,” Amit Khurana, programme director, food safety and toxins, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), New Delhi said.
Why other states should follow
Responding to the global momentum to tackle AMR, India had released its National Action Plan on AMR (NAP-AMR) along with a Declaration in Delhi in 2017. The NAP-AMR calls for states to consider AMR as a state level priority and develop state level action plans to ensure on-the-ground implementation.
With the federal structure of India, the states have a critical role in NAP implementation. The vast scale and diversity of the country in terms of population, food animal sectors (for instance, commercial and backyard farming), extent of antibiotic use adds to the challenges of addressing this multi-sectoral issue.
The ground realities, challenges, competing interests across states are therefore different and need targeted and specific interventions. In this context, it becomes important that states to take lead and design their own Action Plans based on their feasibility, available resources and capabilities.
This will contribute to the effective and timely implementation of the National Action Plan. With the release of MP-SAPCAR, Madhya Pradesh is now set to mark an example for other states to follow and subsequently develop their action plans to address AMR.
CSE has actively contributed to the development of MP-SAPCAR. Earlier, CSE has also supported the development of India’s NAP-AMR and the Kerala Antimicrobial Resistance Strategic Action Plan (KARSAP), and is also a stakeholder in their implementation.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.