India is amongst the world’s largest consumers of antibiotics for human health. A recent white paper by Aetna International titled ‘Antibiotic resistance: Toward better stewardship of a precious medical resource’ highlights the need for immediate action to contain the situation.
Multiple factors, such as high burden of disease, poor public health infrastructure, rising incomes and the unregulated sale of cheap antibiotics have amplified the crisis of antibiotics resistance in India. Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is causing around 7 Lakh deaths worldwide and the death toll may reach 1 crore per annum by 2050.
In BRICS ( Brazil,Russia,India ,China ) countries, antibiotic consumption is expected to increase by 99%. Agricultural consumption of antibiotics, which is primarily used to promote growth and not treat disease in animals, was estimated at 63,151 tons in 2010 and is expected to rise by two-thirds by 2030. Research shows that 75-90% of antibiotics given to animals pass through to the environment. This promotes drug resistant bacteria that infect humans and animals. In India, with our vHealth by Aetna teleconsultation service, Aetna is taking a three-stage approach that emphasizes antimicrobial stewardship in clinical training audit medical consultations, the identification incorrect antibiotic usage in patients and offers counselling on appropriate usage, dosage, duration and rationale of using antibiotics. By these means, we are initiating steps to help combat the growing threat of AMR in the country.” (Story courtesy :theindiansaga.com)