The Chennai Declaration’s recommendations on controlling antibiotic resistance has not only found favour with the global medical fraternity, but is making the way for a national antibiotic policy

With global appreciation pouring in for the Chennai Declaration on controlling antibiotic resistance, the Centre, too, has decided to study and discuss the document.

The Chennai Declaration, adopted last year, recommends urgent measures 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. Nine international medical journals have published reviews on the document.

A meeting is expected soon to discuss the antibiotic policy and the role of Chennai Declaration, sources in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

“Until recently, the 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 added.

The latest among the series of appreciations 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 has praised the initiative and supported the document. The World Health Organisation Team Lead, Antimicrobial Resistance, Carmem Lucia Pessoa-Silva, too, has appreciated the move.

“By spreading awareness to everyone, not just physicians, about antibiotic resistance and the need to use antibiotics appropriately to preserve their utility, hopefully multi drug resistance will remain treatable,” Laura J.V. Piddock, Director, Antibiotic Action, U.K., said.

Similarly, the Chief Medical Officer of England advised the British

government to recommend the Chennai Declaration to Commonwealth countries. “Given the population flow 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, reported The Lancet.

Arjun Sreenivasan of Centre for Disease Control, USA, is among those who have appreciated the move in addition to highly appreciative reviews in several medical 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.