Medical colleges across the country have been asked to implement Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) containment strategies like practical education and evaluation in AMR, judicious use of antimicrobials, and infection prevention and control in clinical subjects in nursing and medical education.
The National Medical Commission (NMC) has recently issued an advisory to all teaching hospitals across states and Union Territories (UTs) on indiscriminate use of antimicrobials and development of AMR leading to an increase in the incidence of infections and avoidable morbidity and mortality at the backdrop against the pandemic.
The NMC was prompted to take such drastic steps following a letter from Secretary, Union health ministry, Rajesh Bhushan, during the third week of October directing medical colleges to take appropriate and immediate AMR measures in their respective hospitals.
The NMC Chairman Dr Suresh Chandra Sharma has forwarded the letter to all teaching hospital urging the respective authorities to take prompt measures to implement the directive from the ministry. Medical colleges have also been directed to form Hospital Infection Control Committee (HICC) and Antimicrobial Stewardship Committees (AMS) in every teaching hospital.
Medical colleges must review and develop curriculum and resources for in-service training of different health professionals and allied services. They must also have the minimum infrastructure, manpower and other resources to ensure well-functioning HICC committees that meet regularly to develop and monitor the implementation of concrete action plan for infection prevention and control practices and surveillance of healthcare-associated infections.
Hospitals must have well-functioning 24X7 microbiology laboratories actively involved in the management of patients with infectious diseases. A senior official in the state health department at Swasthya Bhaban said that most of the medical teaching institutes have such committees.
The NMC order would wake up the medical colleges to overhaul the committees so that the members could sit on regular meetings to prevent the prevalence of infections inside hospital premises, he said requesting anonymity.