Antibiotic resistance key area for US-India ties: Juster

Kolkata: Describing antibiotic resistance as one of the most important global health issues, a US envoy on Monday said it was a key area for US-India collaboration.

“Antibiotic resistance is one of the most important global health issues of our times. Global cooperation to tackle antimicrobial resistance is essential and is a key area for US India collaboration for me and for my health team across the US mission in India,” US Ambassador to India Kenneth I. Juster said at a programme here.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) joined hands with the US Consulate here in establishing India’s first National Antimicrobial Resistance Hub in Kolkata on Monday.

“An estimated 7,00,000 people die each year globally due to drug-resistant diseases. We must come together to collect all the data, put it together and study it to prevent these deaths,” said Henk Jan Bekedam, Country Representative to India, World Health Organisation.

According to a survey conducted by the WHO in 2015 in India, 75 per cent of respondents suffer from the wrong notions that cold and flu can be treated with antibiotics and only 58 per cent know they should stop taking antibiotics only when they have finished the course.

ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava said the Kolkata facility will be the hub where all research on antibiotic resistance will be carried out not only for the country but also for South Asia.