A road-map for addressing antimicrobial resistance in low- and middle-income countries: lessons learnt from the public private participation and co-designed antimicrobial stewardship programme in the State of Kerala, India.


Singh S(1), Charani E(2), Devi S(3), Sharma A(4), Edathadathil F(5), Kumar A(5), Warrier A(6), Shareek PS(7), Jaykrishnan AV(8), Ellangovan K(9).
Author information:
(1)Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham, Kochi, India. [Email]
(2)NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance, Imperial College, London, UK.
(3)Trivandrum Medical College, Trivandrum, India.
(4)Technical Focal Point, Antimicrobial Resistance, Laboratory and Infection Prevention and Control, WHO Country Office, Delhi, India.
(5)Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham, Kochi, India.
(6)Aster Medcity Hospital, Kochi, India.
(7)Sree Uthradom Thirunal Hospital, Trivandrum, India.
(8)Indian Medical Association, Kochi, India.
(9)Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Kerala, Trivandrum, India.


BACKGROUND: The global concern over antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is gathering pace. Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are at the epicentre of this growing public health threat and governmental and healthcare organizations are at different stages of implementing action plans to tackle AMR. The South Indian state of Kerala was one of the first in India to implement strategies and prioritize activities to address this public health threat. STRATEGIES: Through a committed and collaborative effort from all healthcare related disciplines and its professional societies from both public and private sector, the Kerala Public Private Partnership (PPP) has been able to deliver a state-wide strategy to tackle AMR A multilevel strategic leadership model and a multilevel implementation approach that included developing state-wide antibiotic clinical guidelines, a revision of post-graduate and undergraduate medical curriculum, and a training program covering all general practitioners within the state the PPP proved to be a successful model for ensuring state-wide implementation of an AMR action plan. Collaborative work of multi-professional groups ensured co-design and development of disease based clinical treatment guidelines and state-wide infection prevention policy. Knowledge exchange though international and national platforms in the form of workshops for sharing of best practices is critical to success. Capacity building at both public and private institutions included addressing practical and local solutions to the barriers e.g. good antibiotic prescription practices from primary to tertiary care facility and infection prevention at all levels. CONCLUSION: Through 7 years of stakeholder engagement, lobbying with government, and driving change through co-development and implementation, the PPP successfully delivered an antimicrobial stewardship plan across the state. The roadmap for the implementation of the Kerala PPP strategic AMR plan can provide learning for other states and countries aiming to implement action plans for AMR.