Govt bats for soft drink companies

July 03, 2017


Antimicrobial resistance has been globally
recognized as an emerging threat to
public health, linked with high disease
and economic burden on people and nations
as well as with food safety, nutrition security,
livelihood and Sustainable Development Goals.
It is a ‘One Health’ issue, which recognizes that
health of humans, animals and environment are
interconnected. It needs to be addressed through
cross-sectoral coordination among multiple

The momentum to combat antimicrobial
resistance has increased. Following the adoption
of ‘Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial
Resistance’ in 2015, the tripartite alliance among
the World Health Organization, Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
and World Organization for Animal Health is
supporting member states in the development of
National Action Plans to be submitted by mid-
2017. The issue has also received global political
support at the United Nations General Assembly
in September 2016.

Historically, some developed countries,
particularly of the European Union, have addressed
antimicrobial resistance through systematic policy
and practice initiatives. The scenario is different
in the developing world because of limited
stakeholder awareness and resources as well as
weak laws and inadequate implementation. In
the global context, and more so in the case of the
developing world, the human side of the problem
received the most attention and the environment
part has been neglected. Limited attention has
been given to animal aspects.

The Centre for Science and Environment has been
working to highlight and address the animal and
environmental aspects of antimicrobial resistance
in India and at the international level. Recognizing
the challenges of the developing world, Centre for
Science and Environment organized a two-day
international workshop aimed at formulating
guidance for National Action Plans on
antimicrobial resistance for developing countries.
Experts from the tripartite alliance and several
developed and developing countries contributed
to the drafting of strategic and operational
guidance on animal and environmental aspects
of the National Action Plan during the workshop,
held in New Delhi in November 2016.
It became apparent that food animal production
is potentially a significant contributor to
the emergence and spread of antimicrobial
resistance. Further, the environmental spread of
antimicrobial resistance deserves greater attention
both in global guidance and country-level action
plans. There are best practices and learnings from
developed countries, which developing countries
should consider adopting.

The expert group collectively developed strategic
and operational guidance on three key areas,
i.e. responsible antibiotic use in food animals;
surveillance of antibiotic use, residues and
resistance; and environment management to
contain antimicrobial resistance. The guidance
reflects what should be a part of National
Action Plans of developing countries to contain
emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance
in animals and the environment.

We hope that the countries consider and
incorporate this guidance in their National Action
Plans based on country-level scenarios in view of
current status, resources, feasibility and priority.
We also hope that representatives of the tripartite
alliance at the national, regional and global level
as well as global civil society benefit from this
report and that the outcome of this report is
incorporated in subsequent global guidance and
country-level campaigns to address one of the
biggest public health challenges.

Chandra Bhushan
Deputy Director General

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