News and Opinions  –  2017

Crucial stakeholder meeting in India: how to get the Indian NAP on AMR from words into action

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End August, ReAct Asia Pacific participated in the consultation "National consultation to operationalize Action Plan for AMR containment" held in New Delhi, India.

Sujith J Chandy, Head of ReAct Asia Pacific, says:
- This is a crucial meeting of all stakeholders, from all sectors, meant to galvanize the National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance into on the ground operationalization.

Sujith J Chandy, Head of ReAct, sitting in the middle.

India has submitted the National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) at the 70th World Health Assembly meeting in Geneva, in May 2017. As a follow up to that, and with a view to kick start the implementation phase, The National Consultation to Operationalize Action Plan for AMR Containment was jointly organized by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and WHO Country Office for India. It was held during 24th – 25th August 2017 in New Delhi.

The essential objectives of the consultation were:

  • To develop strategies for operationalizing the National Action Plan, based on the strategic objectives laid out in it.
  • To finalize the key indicators for monitoring and evaluation framework.
  • To develop methodologies for engaging relevant stakeholders from different sectors in order to implement the State Action Plans (selected states).
  • To sensitize the states towards the issue of antimicrobial resistance (all other states).

The main participants for the conference were government representatives from national agencies and various states in human, veterinary, agriculture and environmental sectors. Representatives and experts from non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, academic institutes, professional associations are also present.

Group discussions on the Indian National Action Plan

During the consultation, there were some important presentations and ideas put forth to the participants. This formed the platform for the intense discussions which followed. Delegates were divided into small groups, with facilitators and rapporteurs. The group discussions focused on different objectives of the National Action Plan with sub-categorization into themes in specific sectors such as human, animal, environmental etc.

Framework on operational aspects

The discussions provided a framework on operational aspects such as role of various stakeholders in implementing the National Action Plan as well as indicators for monitoring and evaluation. Some of the other important discussion points included:

  • The need for a central agency for coordination among the various sectors, ministries and other stakeholders.
  • The need for state level coordinating centers for antimicrobial resistance.
  • The need for specific allocation of funds and manpower.
  • Intersectoral coordination mechanisms for adapting the ‘One Health Approach’.
  • The monitoring and evaluation framework components in different sectors.

In his own words Dr. Sujith stated:

“The effort put by the organizers was fantastic, the participants were diverse group representing various stakeholders in the arena of antimicrobial resistance. The flow and intensity of the consultation demonstrated a sincere desire for action on antimicrobial resistance in the country. I hope that the nation will be able to follow through with a recommendation towards implementation of the National Action Plan.”

The feedback from the other participants was extremely positive as well, because majority of the participants felt the meeting was very well organized, was able to meet the objectives of the workshop and was timely in the Indian context.

Reiview by the governance mechanisms

All the discussion points as well as the recommendations from this consultation will be reviewed and discussed by the governance mechanisms as notified by the MOHFW. We hope that this initiative would help India in containing the threat posed by antimicrobial resistance as well as to promote awareness among the public on this issue.