A first ever joint meeting of Medical societies in India on tackling antibiotic resistance will be held at Chennai on August 24, 2012. “The plan is to formulate a roadmap to tackle Indian perspective of the global challenge of antibiotic resistance,” said Dr. Abdul Ghafur, Consultant in infectious diseases at Apollo Hospitals, Chennai. He is also the co-ordinator of the symposium.

The compulsion to formulate a roadmap arises as India does not still have a workable national antibiotic policy. That may partly explain why drug resistance to many powerful antibiotics is increasing in a short span of time. If carbapenem resistance in 2008 was 2-3 per cent in some hospitals in India, it has now increased to 20-25 per cent, says Dr. Ghafur.

Worse, resistance to colistin, which is used for treating carbapenem-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, is also seen in many countries. Tackling antibiotic resistance becomes a bigger challenge in India due to several reasons. “The spread of drug resistance is faster in India due to many reasons — lack of infection control practices in hospitals, absence of antibiotic policy, sanitation issues in the community etc,” he said.

One of the highlights of the meeting is the participation of several medical societies. Aside from medical societies, very senior members from national and international bodies like the WHO are participating. Dr V.M. Katoch, Secretary, Health Research, Government of India and Director General of ICMR, Dr. Sanjeev Singh of NABH, Dr.G.N. Singh, Drugs Controller General of India and others will be present.

“All health care professionals and individuals interested in the topic are invited to the meeting,” Dr. Ghafur said. More details can be found at www.save-antibiotics.in

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