Chief minister launches Kerala Antimicrobial Resistance Strategic Action Plan

Mr Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala launched the Kerala Antimicrobial Resistance Strategic Action Plan (KARSAP), the first of its kind in the country, at a consultation organized by the state government in partnership with the World Health Organization Country Office for India at Thiruvananthapuram on 25 October 2018.

In his opening remarks, the Chief Minister expressed the need for sustained action and commitment by the stakeholders for successful implementation of the KARSAP.

Mrs K.K. Shailaja Teacher, Minister for Health, Social Justice, Women and Child Development highlighted the key principles of One Health approach - importance of multi-stakeholder participation, trans-disciplinarity, systems thinking, equity, knowledge-to-action and sustainable development.

Acknowledging the support provided by the World Health Organisation India, the Health Minister said, “This is yet another milestone in the health sector, probably the first of its kind institutionalised and multi-sectoral effort in the South East Asia Region.

Dr Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India congratulated the Kerala government for identifying antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as a priority and developing the Kerala Antimicrobial Resistance Strategic Action Plan.

He lauded the efforts and the leadership of the state government in tackling the complex issue of AMR, a serious threat to global public health. He also emphasised on the importance of strengthening infection prevention and control to address AMR, highlighting that prevention is better than cure.

Dr Arti Bahl from National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), which is coordinating the national AMR containment programme, presented the national scenario outlining the initiatives undertaken by the stakeholders at the national level.

Shri Rajeev Sadanandan, Additional Chief Secretary (Health), Government of Kerala highlighted the AMR containment initiatives undertaken by the state and the series of events that ensured the inception and evolution of KARSAP, with a One Health approach.

The consultation also reviewed the containment of AMR and the identified focal points for key focus areas from all sectors (human, animal, food and environment) presented the activities undertaken by the respective organisations under the framework of KARSAP.

AMR containment has been a priority of the government of Kerala since 2012 and various initiatives have been undertaken since then. These include awareness and advocacy, strengthening AMR surveillance, and infection prevention and control, to name a few.