New Delhi, Delhi, India
National Science Centre and World Animal Protection collaborated to sensitise people on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) known as Superbug causing health concerns and how higher welfare practices can help in mitigating this issue. The awareness drive sensitised over 40000 people during this one month and culminated with a panel discussion followed by a poster making workshop in partnership with “Superheroes Against Superbugs”.
The panel discussion had Dr. Sangeeta Sharma Prof. Dept. of Neuropsychopharmacology, Institute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) and Honorary President, Delhi Society for Promotion of Rational Use of Drugs (DSPRUD); Dr. Vijay Pal Singh, Veterinarian, CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology; Dr. Rajeshwari Sinha, Program Manager, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE); Sri Ramdas Iyer, Director, National Science Centre, Delhi and Gajender K Sharma, Country Director, World Animal Protection, India.
The discussion saw active participation from over 300 students present and asking questions on the topic and pledging to be Superheroes against Superbugs.
“We need to understand our food system to understand the problem of Superbug. The intensive animal farming model is not sustainable which needs strategic interventions at all levels and welfare of animals can’t be ignored for the betterment of animal, people and planet,” said Gajender K Sharma, Country Director, World Animal Protection, India.
Mr Sharma further added that the focus of the chicken farming sector is to make maximum profit by promoting intensive animal farming practices which lead to irrational use of antibiotics to make chickens grow faster. This irresponsible use of antibiotics leads to Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and other public and animal health concerns. “We need immediate attention from all stakeholders to ensure responsible use of Antibiotics and integrate Animal Welfare in Animal Farming practices.”
During her address, Dr. Sangeeta Sharma spoke how antibiotics are used as medical treatment without proper regard to their impact on human health. She also drew the distinction between good bacteria and bad bacteria for the students to understand better. “Discovery of antibiotics was one of the biggest achievements for mankind, however in the current medical practice there are several misuses of antibiotics. Antibiotic is being dispensed irresponsibly by practitioners and pharmacists; treatment being replaced with self-medication and unaware propagation of the use we all witnessed during pandemic, poor awareness about the harm or impact on us leading to resistance and any other issue as it kills the good bacteria as well we need in our bodies,” said Dr. Sangeeta Sharma, Prof. Dept. of Neuropsychopharmacology, Institute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences (IHBAS).
“Animals are part of our eco system & food cycle and should be respected. There are ways we can reduce antibiotic use on them however due to rising demand which means per day loss for the owner or the farmer, this is a concern on how antibiotic is used more as preventive means than cure. Only awareness amongst people, veterinarian, farmers and livestock owners can bring a change. It’s time to call for the rational use of antibiotics which has minimal negative impact on our environment,” said Dr. Vijay Pal Singh, Veterinarian, CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology.
“Education and awareness are our tools to empower the youth and make them responsible citizens of future. We make sure such topics that are relevant to our current times and have long lasting impact are taken up at National Science Centre, which is food for thought for our future scientists, doctors, researchers, or as an aware individual to be empowered to take informed decision which is progressive,” said Sri Ramdas Iyer, Director, National Science Centre.
“Not all antibiotics are bad be it in case of plants or animals. What is needed is awareness in farmers and people involved in this food chain to take well informed decisions and adapt better practices which are less harmful and have better enforcement methods to monitor,” said Dr. Rajeshwari Sinha, Program Manager, Centre for Science and environment.
–Press release through NewsVoir