To ensure judicious use of antibiotics in healthcare facilities, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) released on November 20, Antimicrobial Stewardship Guidelines to advise hospitals in setting up Antimicrobial Stewardship Programmes (AMSP) for the purpose.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major public health challenge, and with very few new antibiotics in the pipeline, it is important to use the existing drugs judiciously. Since inappropriate use of antibiotics is rampant in India, there is an urgent need to improve antibiotic use in hospitals, which can be achieved through implementation of good AMS programmes, Director General of the ICMR Dr Balram Bhargava said.
These guidelines provide guidance for setting up structure and processes of Antimicrobial Stewardship Programmes in healthcare institutions. It will help discuss essential elements of antimicrobial stewardship, diagnostic stewardship besides providing information on tools that can be used to measure progress.
The National Health Policy, 2017, terms antimicrobial resistance as one of the key healthcare issues and prioritises development of guidelines regarding antibiotic use, limiting over-the-counter use of antibiotics and restricting the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in livestock.
They used a process called “electrospinning” to produce paper-like material made of nanosized nylon fibre, loaded with a combination of three dyes. The paper is “halochromic” which changes colour in response to changes in acidity.
The researchers have developed a prototype smart phone-based algorithm, in which, the colours of the sensor strips after dipping in milk are captured using the phone camera, and the data is transformed into pH range.