Antimicrobial resistance

The Meeting on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance: Public Health Challenges and Priority, 23-25 February, 2016, New Delhi

Meeting on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance

This high-profile ministerial meeting organized by the Government of India in collaboration with the WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia in New Delhi, India, in February 2016. The meeting proposed a roadmap for the development of NAPs that would be owned across ministries by May 2017. The process would be supported by a nodal institution on AMR and a multisectoral coordination body. A situation analysis that identifies challenges and needs would be conducted in each Member State of the South-East Asia Region before developing the NAP.

During this occasion, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia stated that:

“Countries in the South-East Asia Region have been proactive in addressing antimicrobial resistance. Since 2010, several Regional Committee Resolutions on prevention and containment of AMR have been adopted, the last being adopted by the RC last year in Timor-Leste. That resolution emphasized that “combating antimicrobial resistance shall require political commitment, multi-sectoral coordination, sustained investment and technical assistance,” and it called on Member States to put AMR as one of the top priorities on their national agendas. Further, as early as 2011, the Honorable Health Ministers of this Region recognized the seriousness of AMR and adopted the Jaipur Declaration on Antimicrobial Resistance. It was an important and foresighted step to promote, at the highest level, awareness about the problem of AMR and to stimulate concerted efforts to tackle it. The Jaipur Declaration on Antimicrobial Resistance recognized the irrational use of antibiotics as the key driver of the emergence of resistance and advocated for a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to the control and prevention of resistance to antimicrobials.

When I assumed my responsibilities as the new Regional Director for WHO’s South-East Asia in 2014, to highlight the urgency needed to deal with this issue, I made AMR one of my flagship priorities for the Region. Identifying flagship priorities allows us to focus our resources to achieve clear deliverables, and to support countries to develop and implement realistic work plans.”

The Regional Director called for stronger commitment for building momentum within the countries of the Region to reverse Antimicrobial Resistance. We have raised awareness; now is the time to turn pledges into action, Dr Khetrapal Singh said.