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AP-APCAR Acknowledges Need to Address Misuse of Antibiotics in Animal Farming Sector

Food animals can carry bacteria that can make people sick, such as Salmonella and Campylobacter. When animals are given antibiotics, resistant bacteria in their intestines can survive and thrive.

Shivam Dwivedi
Global Workshop on Implementation of State Action Plans for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance, Focus State-Andhra Pradesh" was held to translate APAPCAR into concrete on-the-ground actions
Global Workshop on Implementation of State Action Plans for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance, Focus State-Andhra Pradesh" was held to translate APAPCAR into concrete on-the-ground actions

Professionals from around the world gathered in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, to discuss and plan the implementation of the Andhra Pradesh Action Plan for Antimicrobial Resistance Containment (AP-APCAR). Andhra Pradesh is the fourth state in India, following Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, and Delhi, to develop a State Action Plan for Antimicrobial Resistance Containment.

The Andhra Pradesh government issued G.O. No.148 on June 27, 2022, by the Principal Secretary, Health, Medical & Family Welfare Dept., approving the state's Andhra Pradesh Action Plan for Containment Antimicrobial Resistance (APAPCAR). On November 25th and 26th, a two-day "Global Workshop on Implementation of State Action Plans for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance, Focus State-Andhra Pradesh" was held to translate AP-APCAR into concrete on-the-ground actions through knowledge and expertise from the state, national, and global level experts.

Federation of Asian Biotech Associations (FABA), Infection Control Academy of India (IFCAI), and World Animal Protection co-organized the consultative workshop, which was supported by ReAct Asia Pacific. The workshop brought international experts and representatives from various organizations, institutes, state governments, and ministry representatives from animal, human health, environment, and agriculture departments. The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as one of the top ten threats to global health and one of the most pressing health challenges for the next decade.

According to the leading medical journal The Lancet's first comprehensive analysis of the global impact of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) estimates, resistance caused 1.27 million deaths in 2019, and antimicrobial-resistant infections played a role in 4.95 million deaths. Estimates for 204 countries and territories confirm AMR as a global health threat, with the most severe effects in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) such as India. Higher-income countries, on the other hand, face alarmingly high levels of AMR.

The overuse and misuse of antimicrobial medications significantly contribute to developing drug-resistant microbes. Antibiotics are frequently overused and misused in humans and animals, and are frequently administered without professional supervision. The workshop facilitated lively group discussions that resulted in action plans and Key Performance Indicators (KPI). We hope this will help Andhra Pradesh become a model for the other 24 states in policy formulation and flawless implementation with commendable results."

Andhra Pradesh has shifted its focus to strengthening laboratories, medical education, and public awareness to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR). "The state government has piloted the Indo-Dutch project in Krishna district as a pilot project under the auspices of the National Centre for Disease Control (NSDC)," said M.T. Krishan Babu, Principal Secretary, Health, Medical, and Family Welfare, who was present virtually for this event.

"There is an urgent need to focus on animals that are part of our food system, particularly the poultry sector, which contributes to the challenges faced in combating superbugs and needs to be monitored," said M.T. Krishan Babu, Principal. "Because resistance exists everywhere, one health approach is the only solution for AMR containment for human health, animal health and welfare, and environmental health," said P. Anand Kumar, Member, AP State AMR Cell.

"Because AMR is a critical global problem affecting humans, the environment, and animals, it is not limited to one sector." The key to combating AMR is understanding its multi-stakeholder and multidimensional nature and working on its various aspects. Each sector should play a role in prevention by raising public awareness about the problem and the impact of AMR. Approximately 75% of the total antibiotics used globally are used in animal farming systems. India ranks fourth in terms of animal antibiotic sales.

The poultry and cattle industries are two of India's largest farming industries, so addressing AMR from animal farming and improving animal welfare is a solution," said Gajender K Sharma, Country Director, World Animal Protection, India. "FABA will play a critical role in knowledge dissemination and awareness programmes across academic institutions, bringing industry closer to the implementation goals." "FABA, along with its global partners, will assist in all awareness and knowledge programmes on one health," said Prof Redanna, Executive President of FABA.

 "As a multidimensional problem, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) necessitates multisectoral approaches to address the issue through the lens of technical, political, social, economic, and enthusiastic public support," said Dr Ranga Reddy Burri, President of IFCAI. "Although we cannot avoid Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and our own aging, we can use antibiotics wisely and use every alternative to minimize or slow the emergence of resistance to last-resort antibiotics."

"We should work toward healthy aging without many infections that are difficult to treat, and we should create a better future," said Prof. Jayaseelan Murugaiyan, Head of the Department of Biological Sciences at SRM University AP in Andhra Pradesh. The key findings from this workshop will help shape the state's on-the-ground action plan.

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