With global appreciation pouring in for the Chennai Declaration on controlling antibiotic resistance, the Centre has decided to study and discuss the document.
The Chennai Declaration, adopted last year, recommends urgent measure to formulate an effective national policy to control the rising trend of antimicrobial resistance, including a ban on over-the-counter sale of antibiotics, and changes in the medical education curriculum to include training on antibiotic usage and infection control.
A meeting is expected soon to discuss the antibiotic policy and the role of Chennai Declaration, according to sources in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Nine international medical journals have published reviews on the document.
“Until recently international academic community was criticising India for not making any significant contribution towards tackling antimicrobial resistance efforts. Now the whole world is praising an Indian initiative,’’ Dr. Abdul Ghafur, coordinator, Chennai Declaration, told The Hindu. “Our image among the international community has definitely turned positive now. This is the time to consolidate this image by coming out with a national antibiotic policy incorporating the Chennai Declaration,” he said.
The latest among the series of appreciation for the document has come from the World Alliance Against Antibiotic Resistance (WAAAR), a highly influential international collaboration aimed at tackling antibiotic resistance. Many prestigious medical societies are associated with the Alliance.
In a letter, WAAAR group president Jean Carlet praised the initiative and supported the document.
The World Health Organisation Team Lead, Antimicrobial Resistance, Carmem Lucia Pessoa-Silva, has appreciated also the move.
“By spreading awareness to everyone, not just physicians, about antibiotic resistance and need to use antibiotics appropriately to preserve their utility hopefully multi drug resistance will remain treatable,’’ Laura JV Piddock, Director, Antibiotic Action, U.K. said.
Similarly, the Chief Medical Officer of England advised the British government to recommend the Chennai Declaration to the Commonwealth countries. “Given the population flows between the U.K. and India, it can be seen that such initiatives can have a direct influence on U.K. health,’’ the Chief Medical Officer said, according to The Lancet.
Arjun Sreenivasan of the Centre for Disease Control, U.S., is among those who have appreciated the move in addition to highly appreciative reviews in several journals like the Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance, British Medical Journal, Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control Journal, Journal of American Medical Association and the Medical Journal of Australia.