Voices for Health: Public Discussion on Antibiotic Resistance

23 Feb 2016

Voices for Health: Public Discussion on Antibiotic Resistance

The Voices for Health is an effort aimed at engaging people and communities to better understand public health and to educate them about key determinants of emergent heath issues. This initiative is planned as a series of public engagement events that will bring together biomedical researchers with policy makers, social scientists, health workers, media and other stakeholders to talk about important health issues. Each event will focus on a public health topic of contemporary interest. The series will aim to demystify science and myths, disseminate latest health research and share perspectives of experts and people. The first of the series focuses on antibiotic resistance. VOICES FOR HEALTH IS AN INITIATIVE OF THE WELLCOME TRUST DBT ALLIANCE, INDIA. THIS EFFORT IS IMPLEMENTED WITH TECHNICAL SUPPORT FROM THE PUBLIC HEALTH FOUNDATION OF INDIA

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Rise of the Deadly Superbugs- How can we respond?


1 March, Saptaparni, Road no. 8 Banjara Hills

5.30 pm: Models display by students

6.15 pm: Tea


6:30 pm: Presentations & Discussion


As part of this series, the first panel discussion on the growing epidemic of Antibiotic Resistance will be held in Hyderabad on 1 March 2016​. This event is being jointly organised by Wellcome Trust/DBT India AlliancePublic Health Foundation of IndiaManthan IndiaCentre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics and 17th International Congress of Infectious Diseases (ICID). 

Antibiotic Resistance in India

Last year’s Noble prize in Medicine and Physiology, applauding the discoveries concerning novel therapies against infections, is in grim contrast with global health epidemic of Antibiotic Resistance that the world is facing today. Antibiotic resistance, more broadly classified as Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), can be loosely defined as resistance of the infectious bugs against the medications used to eliminate them. AMR has fast become an obstacle in the prevention and treatment of variety of infections caused by bugs such as bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi, which cause HIV, influenza, malaria, tuberculosis and host of other infections.

Antibiotics are one of the most commonly used medication across the world to treat infections caused by bacteria. However, it is important to note that in most countries 80% of antibiotics are used outside hospitals and healthcare facilities, either with a prescription from a healthcare provider or are obtained directly from pharmacies without one. According to the 2015 report by Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP), on average, an Indian citizen consumed about 7.4 antibiotic pills (per year) in 2000, which increased to about 11.7 antibiotic pills in 2010. The report also revealed that between 2000 and 2010, antibiotic consumption increased by 36%. Of the five countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) that accounted for 76% of this increase in antibiotic consumption, India had the highest antibiotic consumption. The unfortunate consequence of this use has brought us at the brink of what could be a deadly epidemic of antibiotic resistance that could have damaging and long-lasting consequences in a country like India. This discussion will briefly explore socio-cultural, economic, environmental, scientific and medical dimensions of the problem and suggest strategies on how key stakeholders can come together to spread awareness and fight antibiotic resistance.

Apart from the discussion, there will also be a display of biology models and informational posters by colleges students on antimicrobial resistance. Following speakers will be talking at this event,


Dr Ramanan Laxminarayan (moderator) is Director at Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy. His research deals with the integration of epidemiological models of infectious diseases and drug resistance into the economic analysis of public health problems. He has worked to improve understanding of drug resistance as a problem of managing a shared global resource

Dr Radha Rangarajan is CEO of Vitas Pharma in Hyderabad, a women-led discovery company in Hyderabad which is working on identifying and developing therapies for multidrug resistant hospital acquired infections.

Dr Dilip Nathwani is an honorary Professor of Infection at the University of Dundee. Director of Medical Education Scotland, National Speciality Adviser for Infectious Diseases to the Scottish Government Health Department and President-elect of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC)

Dr Sanjeev Singh is a Medical Superintendent, Head Infection Control, Head Quality and Standards & Head Hospital Information Systems at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, Kerela. He is the Joint Secretary of Hospital Administrators, regional Directors of Indian Society of Health Administrators and members of national Initiative of Patient Safety.

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