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Special Feature

Squashing the superbug

  • from Shaastra :: vol 01 issue 01 :: Jan - Feb 2022
Raising public awareness about the indiscriminate use of antibiotics may help IAIH fight antimicrobial resistance.

A platform to combat antimicrobial resistance brings together diverse stakeholders from India and the world.

Taslimarif Saiyed thinks it is time to get "more cream out of the milk". It is a metaphor for the intent behind the India AMR Innovation Hub (IAIH) launched by the public-funded Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), of which Saiyed is CEO and director.

Bengaluru-based IAIH, launched in November 2021, will enable stakeholders from India and the world to gather around one table and apply their collective wisdom and experience to the intractable problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). They inhabit different domains: business, funding, innovation, policy, research and surveillance, among others. The common goal is to combat the impact of AMR as pathogens such as bacteria and fungi increasingly evade antibiotics.

"There are many fantastic efforts going on (globally)," Saiyed says. "Common platforms are one way of ensuring we get more than the sum of each in a more directed manner."

In 2019, the United Nations estimated that without "an immediate, coordinated and ambitious action", drug-resistant diseases would claim 10 million lives a year by 2050. Nearly a quarter of these will be in India.

IAIH is an attempt to enhance the social impact of myriad AMR initiatives. Stakeholders will focus on priorities, identify gaps, and propose interventions, Saiyed says. Issues such as AMR awareness, surveillance or even public policy engagement and advocacy are on the table. The broad mandate is to reduce India’s - ergo, the world’s - AMR burden and projected AMR mortality rate for 2050.

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