Union Minister Bharati Pravin Pawar on Thursday said antimicrobial resistance is a silent and invisible pandemic and countering it features prominently on national health agenda.
Pawar was speaking at the ministerial plenary of the third Global High-Level Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance in Muscat, Oman. According to the World Health Organisation, AMR is a global health and development threat. Misuse and overuse of antimicrobials are the main drivers in the development of drug-resistant pathogens.
The Union Minister of State for Health said AMR is a silent and invisible pandemic that cannot be overshadowed by other competing public health priorities. Emphasizing its prevalence and subsequent fatal effects, she highlighted that AMR is recognized as global health threat with serious health, political and economic implications, according to a Union Health Ministry statement.
Pawar said, ”It is heartening to note that AMR has already been prioritized by the UN General Assembly, WHO and member states.” Focusing on the steps taken by India, she said various initiatives have been taken to address AMR under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, the statement said.She noted that India organized an AMR conference in 2016 and highlighted that countering it features prominently on the national health agenda.
The minister said various initiatives undertaken by way of awareness and capacity building, laboratory strengthening, surveillance, infection prevention and control, antimicrobial stewardship and research on newer drugs, diagnostics and innovations have garnered political will at the highest level.
Twenty-two participants from more than 15 countries attended the conference. The event also witnessed the launch of Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Platform on AMR by the Quadripartite Organizations, the statement said. Pawar said the health Ministers of 11 member states had signed the Jaipur Declaration on AMR in 2011, signifying their commitment and political support towards ’One Health’ approach for containment of AMR.Pawar said action must be taken to synergize the momentum, initiated by global AMR conference and upcoming high-level meeting at the UNGA in 2024, which will serve to strengthen the political support at all levels, the statement said.