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ICMR to set up five nodal centres to tackle the challenge of microbial resistance

Shardul Nautiyal, Mumbai
Thursday, September 5, 2013, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

In order to implement surveillance programme for tackling the challenge of anti-microbial resistance, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will soon set up five nodal centres which will become operational by January 2014. The funding would be to the tune of Rs.10 crore initially.

The nodal centres will work on antibiotic resistance and its mechanisation for developing a policy to minimise microbial resistance. The five centres will be set up at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh (two centres) and Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Puducherry.

According to Dr Arunaloke Chakrabarti, professor and head, Medical Microbiology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, "The centres would determine the susceptibility of various organisms like gram negative bacteria, gram positive bacteria, fungus etc and send the studies to ICMR for formulating steps towards proper use of antibiotics for better therapeutic outcomes."

High rates of resistance from various micro-organisms is a concern area which needs to be addressed as there are 3500 micro-organisms which pose disease burden globally.

Said Dr Rajeev Soman, senior consultant, P D Hinduja National Hospital, Mumbai, "Antibiotic resistance is a contentious issue in both individual patients and community medicine practice. There is a need for proper treatment to be done with the highest efficacy, least toxicity and least disruption to microbiological ecology. This can be made possible by a focused approach towards treatment through a proper antibiotic regimen."

Echoing similar views, Dr O C Abraham, professor, Department of Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore said, "There is a need for formal training and good basic diagnostic microbiology labs in the country to know bacterial pathogens and their susceptibility to address infectious diseases and curb microbial resistance."

A roadmap to tackle the challenge of anti-microbial resistance - a joint meeting of medical societies in India was organised at Chennai on August 24, 2012. This was the first ever meeting of medical societies in India on issue of tackling anti-biotic resistance and to formulate a road map to tackle the global challenge of anti-microbial resistance from the Indian perspective.

The Chennai Declaration named after the city where the meeting took place was submitted to all stakeholders and to the Indian government. The Indian Ministry of Health has studied the document and is in the process of formulating a national antibiotic policy incorporating the Declaration's recommendations.


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