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ICMR, Delhi releases Antimicrobial Stewardship Guidelines

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The aim of the guideline is to provide guidance to Indian hospitals to set up structure and process of Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs (AMSP)

World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2018 is observed every year in November to encourage healthy practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Delhi released Antimicrobial Stewardship Guidelines, to mark the World Antibiotic Awareness Week. The aim of the guideline is to provide guidance to Indian hospitals to set up structure and process of Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs (AMSP). The audience for this document is hospital administrators and clinicians.

With very few new antibiotics in the pipeline, it is important to use the existing drugs judiciously. Since inappropriate use of antibiotics is rampant in India, there is an urgent need to improve antibiotic use in hospitals, which can be achieved through implementation of good AMS Programs. AMS Programs have been found helpful in improving the quality of patient care and safety through increasing the frequency of correct prescribing for therapy and prophylaxis, reducing treatment failures and increased infection cure rates.

Unfortunately, most of hospitals in India lack structure and process of AMSP. Recognising the importance to create AMSP structures in health care institutions in the country, ICMR had initiated AMSP activities by developing AMSP curriculum and conducting AMSP training workshops. The AMSP guidelines being released today provide guidance to administrators on setting up structure and processes of AMSP in their healthcare institutions, discusses essential elements of antimicrobial stewardship and diagnostic stewardship and provides information on tools that can be used to measure the progress.

Continuing the capacity building initiative of ICMR on AMSP, ICMR is also organising AMSP training which will have more than 150 participants from various hospitals and medical colleges. ICMR had organised four such workshops last year in which 150 healthcare staff from 32 medical colleges and hospitals were trained. Almost all the hospitals who participated in the workshop have initiated AMSP activities. The current workshop is being held in partnership with Pfizer under the ICMR-Pfizer partnership on AMR. This partnership with Pfizer will further help in the expansion of the ongoing initiatives of ICMR in the areas of stewardship, surveillance and awareness on AMR to other levels of healthcare.

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