ICMR/AIIMS/CDC Global Health Security Agenda Collaborative Project: Capacity Building and Strengthening of Hospital Infection Control to Detect and Prevent Antimicrobial Resistance in India

Preventing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a critical public health priority globally. Compounding the threat of AMR, healthcare associated infections (HAIs) further contribute to adverse patient outcomes, increased cost of treatment, morbidity, and mortality. Effective systems, policies, and procedures to accurately detect, monitor, and prevent AMR and HAIs are thus essential. The Government of India (GOI) has placed high priority on combatting antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has taken a leadership role in addressing AMR as part of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA).

In September 2015, ICMR, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiated a collaboration through the GHSA platform to leverage the existing ICMR AMR network to further strengthen, standardize, and expand capacity of the public health and healthcare systems in India to generate, apply and report accurate AMR data, implement appropriate infection control procedures, enhance antimicrobial stewardship practices, and strengthen routine hospital-based surveillance for HAIs. These activities serve the need for reliable AMR data to support successful patient care, and the public health need to measure, track and report the magnitude of types of AMR threats affecting India. In addition, the clinical aspects of this project will assess and strengthen both clinical antimicrobial use practices and infection control capacities for containment of AMR pathogens. Together, these activities will advance India’s capacity to detect and prevent AMR in a sustainable way.

The specific objectives of the ICMR/AIIMS/CDC collaboration are:
1. Strengthen healthcare facility IPC programs based on gaps identified through standardized assessments
2. Implement standardized surveillance of HAIs caused by AMR pathogens
3. Understand antimicrobial use practices and promote stewardship to improve rational use
4. Enhance laboratory surveillance of priority AMR pathogens using externally quality-assured data
5. Improve capacity to respond to outbreaks of AMR infections related to healthcare delivery

ICMR/AIIMS/CDC GHSA collaboration will build on this progress, with focused efforts intended to advance and expand laboratory, surveillance, and workforce capacities to effectively detect, prevent, and respond to the threat of AMR in a sustainable manner.

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