19 November, Kolkata: The international medical humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontiérés (MSF) in collaboration with Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine (CSTM) is organising a conference titled, “Antibiotic Resistance in West Bengal: Challenges and Road Ahead” to highlight the growing public health challenge of antibiotic resistance in West Bengal. The conference, to be held on 21 November 2016 follows the World Health Organisation‘s (WHO) week on antibiotic resistance which was observed from 14 November to 20 November 2016. The conference will bring together technical experts, as well as key government officials who would discuss the state of antibiotic resistance in India and the various ways to curb it. Additionally, various facets of antibiotic resistance including challenges for the clinician in prescribing right antibiotics; a need for early diagnosis as well as exploring treatment modalities for diarrhoea will also be discussed.
“In countries like India, banning over the counter use of antibiotics without prescription doesn’t seem to be the answer as this is how the poorest of the poor have access to life-saving essential medicines. Antimicrobial stewardship is a coordinated program that promotes the appropriate use of antimicrobials (including antibiotics), improves patient outcomes decreases the spread of infections and is the need of the hour in all our hospitals. It has been shown to be an effective strategy in the west but is still in its infancy here in India having been rolled out in a limited number of tertiary hospitals,” said Dr Prince Mathew, Country Director, India.
With the increasing challenge of antibiotic resistance, MSF plans to collaborate with Government of West Bengal in the Asansol District Hospital. This will involve the use of innovative diagnostic tools for the management of respiratory tract infections so as to promote the rational use of antibiotics.
For more information & interviews contact:
Kritika Kamthan, Medical Press Officer, MSF India
MSF is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare in around 70 countries. MSF offers assistance to people based only on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. MSF has been working in India since 1999, providing free-of-charge essential healthcare in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Manipur, Telangana and West Bengal. MSF received the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development in 1996 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999.