World Antimicrobial Awareness Week: 1,000 healthcare professionals take pledge to stop misuse of antibiotics

Preserving Life of Existing Antibiotics (PLEA), a non-profit organisation, conducts CMEs in healthcare settings to discuss ways to ensure adherence to guidelines on use of antibiotics in hospitals

New Delhi: In an initiative aimed at promoting the judicious use of antibiotics, Preserving Life of Existing Antibiotics (PLEA), a non-profit organisation which has waged a determined battle against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, administered a pledge to more than 1,000 healthcare professionals, including doctors, pharmacists, nurses and lab technicians, during the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week to do everything within their means to stop the misuse of antibiotics.
Coinciding with the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, observed every year from November 18 to 24, PLEA also conducted various webinars and CME programmes under its Awareness Week on Antibiotic Knowledge and Education (Awake) campaign, where more than 50 doctors from all over India and abroad deliberated on ways to prevent hospital-acquired infections and ensure adherence to infection control practices and guidelines on the use of antibiotics in hospitals.
Dr Behram Pardiwalla, Consultant, Internal Medicine and Director, Academics, Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai, Dr Neeraj Tulara, ID Physician, Dr L.H. Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai, Dr Jyoti Goyal, Senior Consultant and Head, Internal Medicine and Critical Care, Pushpanjali Hospital, Agra, were among the prominent speakers.
Antibiotics are fast losing their efficacy due to indiscriminate use, which has led to the emergence of deadly bacterial strains that do not respond to even the most powerful antibiotics, thus creating life-threatening conditions.
PLEA, a brainchild of the Venus Medicine Research Centre (VMRC), the R&D wing of Venus Remedies, also conducted an antibiotic awareness quiz for nurses and other paramedical staff, which was highly appreciated by the medical fraternity.
Applauding PLEA volunteers for making the campaign a grand success, PLEA chairperson Saransh Chaudhary said, “We have got a tremendous response, and we will take this campaign to its logical conclusion by continuing with these efforts in times to come. The main objective of Awake campaign is to promote awareness to reduce the unwarranted use of antibiotics among patients, paramedical staff, pharmacists and hospitals.”
Assessed by the WHO as one of the top 10 global health threats, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is essentially a natural phenomenon caused by mutations in genes, but the wrong and excessive use of antibiotics has hastened this process. When exposed to antibiotics, vulnerable bacteria are killed, but the resistant ones continue to multiply. Such bacteria may become resistant to all existing antibiotics in due course, causing untreatable infections resulting in death. The latest Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) data shows that more than 50% ICU patients battling a type of pneumonia caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteria have stopped responding to one of the most powerful carbapenem class of antibiotics. Bacteria in hospital settings are much more resistant and deadlier because of frequent use of antibiotics.