India Should Intensify WASH Efforts To Help Address AMR, Opinion Piece Says
The Wire: Water, Sanitation Can Systematically Prevent Antimicrobial Resistance in India
Arundati Muralidharan, member of WaterAid India’s policy team
“…India has indeed made tremendous strides in reducing maternal and neonatal deaths through various initiatives that promote antenatal care, maternal nutrition, institutional deliveries, and better care for newborns. However, poor quality of care, which includes limited access to water, sanitation, handwashing facilities, and waste management services, increases the risk of life-threatening infections because of unhygienic health care settings. This, in turn, leads to greater use of and dependence on antibiotics to combat these avoidable infections and contributes to [antimicrobial resistance (AMR)]. … India is committed to addressing AMR. The urgent need now is to accelerate progress. Specific interventions must be intensified to stop avoidable infections and diseases that necessitate antibiotic use. Handwashing with soap, toilet use, and prevention of water contamination must be promoted as important preventative measures in communities, schools, anganwadis, and health care settings. … Greater awareness, leadership, and coordination across sectors, government, and non-government is urgently required for action against AMR…” (12/12).