Prelims level : Science & Technology Mains level : GS-III Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
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Why in News

  • UN report calls for prudent use of antibiotics


  • If no action is taken, drug-resistant diseases could cause 10 million deaths each year by 2050 and damage to the economy as catastrophic as the 2008- 2009 global financial crisis, warns a new report by United Nations (UN)
  • The report released by Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (IACG) also finds that by 2030, antimicrobial resistance could force up to 24 million people into extreme poverty.
  • UN, international agencies and experts demand immediate, coordinated and ambitious action to avert a potentially disastrous drug-resistance crisis.
  • Antimicrobial resistance is a growing problem in India and is making it particularly hard to treat diseases like Tuberculosis (TB), childhood sepsis and malaria. It is estimated that annually at least 700,000 deaths occur from antibiotic-resistant infections in low- and middle-income countries. This includes 230,000 people who die from multidrug-resistant TB.
  • More and more common diseases, including respiratory tract infections, sexually transmitted infections and urinary tract infections, are untreatable; lifesaving medical procedures are becoming much riskier, and our food systems are increasingly precarious.
  • The world is already feeling the economic and health consequences as crucial medicines become ineffective. The report emphasises that without investment from countries in all income brackets, future generations will face the disastrous impacts of uncontrolled antimicrobial resistance.
  • Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest threats we face as a global community. This report reflects the depth and scope of the response needed to curb its rise and protect a century of progress in health

Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR)

  • The Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) is an ability of a microbe to resist the effects of medication previously used to treat them. It is also known as the antibiotic resistance.
  • The WHO defines antimicrobial resistance as a microorganism’s resistance to an antimicrobial drug that was once able to treat an infection by that microorganism.

International Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance

  • India presided over the 68th session of the World Health assembly proceedings in Geneva (May 18-26, 2015) which adopted a Global Action Plan on AMR to prepare a blueprint with specific actions and timelines for WHO as well as member states to address the growing threat of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

What is a Red Line campaign?

  • The Union health ministry’s Anti-Microbial Resistance awareness campaign urges people not to use medicines marked with a red vertical line, including antibiotics, without a doctor’s prescription. These medicines are called as the ‘Medicines with the Red Line’
  • This campaign is aimed at discouraging unnecessary prescription and over-the-counter sale of antibiotics causing drug resistance for several critical diseases including TB, malaria, urinary tract infection and even HIV.
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