With rising resistance of first and second generation antibiotic resistance in common bugs, the health ministry has approved a Rs 30-crore [US$4.88 million] surveillance plan that includes setting up of 30 laboratories. The project will be undertaken initially in Delhi and then expanded to other states in a phased manner. The surveillance programme will include training of microbiologists, lab technicians, clinicians, pharmacists and others.
Indiscriminate use of antibiotics has resulted in many pathogens turning unresponsive to first and second generation drugs. Stemming from this need is the establishment of the national programme on containment of anti-microbial resistance.
According to a senior health ministry official, "Under this programme a network of 30 quality assured laboratories for anti-microbial resistance surveillance would be established. Each laboratory will be provided Rs 15-20 lakh [US$24,000-$32,000] for equipment, reagents and manpower per year."
India's antibiotic policy drafted in 2011 in the wake of reports on enzyme metallo-beta lactamase 1 — first detected in a Swedish patient of Indian origin — has not been implemented. There have since been numerous reports on drug resistance, including claims by a Mumbai doctor of total drug resistance in TB bacteria that did not eventually pass scrutiny by the Indian health establishment and the World Health Organisation (WHO).It's amazing that India's gone for over two years since the identification of NDM-1 without implementing an antibiotic policy.