- Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life. Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
Global Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Development Hub
What to study?
For Prelims: what is antibiotic resistance and how it occurs?
For Mains: Issues and concerns associated and ways to address them.
Context: India joins the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Development Hub as a new member.
About Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Research and Development (R&D) Hub:
- Launched in May 2018 in the margins of the 71st session of the World Health Assembly, following a call from G20 Leaders in 2017.
- Members: 16 countries, the European Commission, two philanthropic foundations and four international organisations (as observers).
- Functions: Supports global priority setting and evidence-based decision-making on the allocation of resources for AMR R&D through the identification of gaps, overlaps and potential for cross-sectoral collaboration and leveraging in AMR R&D.
- Secretariat: established in Berlin.
- Finance: through grants from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG).
Benefits of this partnership for India:
Opportunity to work with all partners to leverage their existing capabilities, resources and collectively focus on new R&D intervention to address drug resistant infections.
What is antimicrobial resistance and why is it a cause for concern?
- AMR is the ability of a microbe to resist the effects of medication that once could successfully treat the microbe.
- Today, the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance continues unabated around the world.
Why is the medical community worried?
- Basically, superbugs are becoming more powerful and widespread than ever. Medical experts are afraid that we’re one step away from deadly, untreatable infections, since the mcr-1 E.coli is resistant to that last-resort antibiotic Colistin. Antibiotic-resistance is passed relatively easily from one bacteria to the next, since it is transmitted by way of loose genetic material that most bacteria have in common.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) is afraid of a post-antibiotic world, where loads of bacteria are superbugs. Already, infections like tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and pneumonia are becoming harder to treat with typical antibiotics.
Need of the hour:
- A multi-stakeholder approach, involving private industry, philanthropic groups and citizen activists is needed.
- Private pharmaceutical industries must take it upon themselves to distribute drugs in a responsible manner.
- Philanthropic charities must fund the development of new antibiotics, while citizen activists must drive awareness.
- These stakeholders must appreciate that the only way to postpone resistance is through improved hygiene and vaccinations.