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About the project

The rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) with the rapid dissemination of multidrug resistant (MDR) bacteria within and between countries is now considered a global patient safety issue and a major public health concern. Many Asian countries experience more significant problems with MDR bacteria than those reported from the western world.

Worldwide, over 1.4 million patients suffer from healthcare associated infections (HAIs) at any time. HAIs have tremendous implications in terms of associated mortality, morbidity, adverse patient outcomes, increased cost of treatment, and social impact. Apart from the escalating rates of HAIs, MDR organisms now increasingly cause these infections. The problem is further compounded by the severe paucity of new antimicrobials, making treatment extremely difficult. In the present scenario of international travel, and as evidenced by the recent Ebola outbreak, no country is safe from imported infectious diseases. An important initiating point to curtail HAIs and AMR is through capacity building to ensure that systems, policies and procedures are in place to rapidly and accurately detect and monitor AMR and HAIs.

In this cooperative agreement, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi is collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to leverage the existing capacities for microbiology and robust academic capabilities of the ICMR-AMR network to implement a step-wise, scalable process for quantifying, strengthening, and expanding the ability of the healthcare systems in India to generate, apply and report accurate AMR data.

This project will strengthen the national capacity for surveillance of HAIs, using the modules developed at AIIMS, based on CDC’s NHSN guidelines. This will serve the need for reliable AMR data to support successful patient care, and public health need to measure, track and report the magnitude and types of AMR and HAI threats affecting India, in accordance with stated GHSA goals. In addition, the clinical facility component of the proposal will assess and strengthen both clinical antimicrobial use practices and infection control capacities for containment of AMR pathogens.

The short-term outcomes include development of trained workforce; establishing external quality standards for AMR surveillance; and strengthening infection control action plans and HAI surveillance at participating centers. These activities would serve to strengthen AMR and HAI surveillance that is linked with infection control activities at all centers in the second phase. The activities in this proposal will advance India’s capacity to detect and prevent AMR in a sustainable way and will achieve measurable progress toward the AMR GHS targets. It would ensure that uniform systems are in place across the length and breadth of India. The ultimate long-term objective is for India to have a sustainable, representative AMR and HAI surveillance network that produces quality data and informs the development and implementation of evidence- based national policies on antimicrobial stewardship and HAI prevention.

List of network hospitals