Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) launches campaign against “Antibiotic Resistance”

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The campaign aims at raising awareness on the irrational use and prescription of antibiotics

New Delhi, 3rd October 2018: As a precursor to the 25th MTNL Perfect Health Mela to be held from 23rd to 27th October 2018 at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi, the Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI), a national NGO working in the healthcare sector, launched a campaign against ‘Antibiotic Resistance” in association with NCDC and WHO. The Perfect Health Mela is a one-of-its-kind event held every year with a mission to generate all-around awareness on health. In its 25th edition, the event expects participation from over 1, 00,000 individuals from all walks of life.

Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI and Dr Sunil Gupta, Additional Director and Head Division of Microbiology National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC); and representatives from the health department, Govt. of Delhi, DST, MTNL, MCD, and NDMC were present on the occasion.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “We, at the Heart Care Foundation of India, are committed to ensuring the larger goal of affordable healthcare for all and the Perfect Health Mela is a medium to do that. Considering the growing incidence of antibiotic resistance, there is an urgent need to raise awareness on the issue. Antibiotics are different from all other classes of drugs in a very important way: the more a person uses them, the less effective they can become. For a country like India, where over-prescription and misuse of antibiotics is rampant, it is only a matter of time before the resistant bacteria win. Several of these medicines can be obtained without a prescription. What further complicates the problem is inequalities in access to medicine and poor sanitation services. Antibiotics should not be given unless absolutely necessary.”

Each year, an estimated 750,000 people die from antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) infections, and the death toll will climb unless the global health community acts decisively. It is estimated that by 2050, as many as 10 million people could die annually from AMR complications. This campaign therefore seeks to address this growing concern and focus on strategies to prevent irrational use of antibiotics in the country.

In his message Dr Sujeet K Singh Director NCDC said, “during the last 30 years no new antibiotic molecule has been discovered or invented globally despite research going on in the area. As per the WHO, the most critical group of the resistance species includes multidrug resistant bacteria that pose a threat in hospitals, nursing homes, and among patients whose care requires devices such as ventilators and blood catheters. These are Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas and various Enterobacteriaceae (including Klebsiella, E. coli, Serratia, and Proteus). They can cause severe and often deadly infections such as bloodstream infections and pneumonia.”

In its first global report on antibiotic resistance, the WHO has warned that ‘a post-antibiotic era—in which common infections and minor injuries can kill—far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, is instead a very real possibility for the 21st century.’

Dr Sunil Gupta, added, “A culture sensitivity test can indicate which antibiotic is effective in what case. It is imperative that a second dose of antibiotic be given only when the result of a rapid method of culture are obtained. Awareness needs to be generated that viral infections and most skin problems do not necessitate the use of antibiotics. The latter should also not be given in combinations unless the culture shows a resistant pattern of infections. We must remember that antibiotics are not sweets or chocolates but rather scheduled and toxic drugs that can cause harm if misused.”

Doctors as well as patients should be aware of and advocate judicious use of antibiotics. Over-prescription and self-prescription, both, need to be checked. One of the biggest reasons for the misuse of antibiotics is buying them over-the-counter without consultation with a doctor. Before prescribing antibiotics, always ask yourself: Is it necessary? What is the most effective antibiotic? What is the most affordable antibiotic? What is the most effective dose? What is the most effective duration for which the antibiotic should be administered?

The theme for the Perfect Health Mela this year is “Affordable Healthcare”. Dr Tusker, the friendly elephant, is the mascot for the event. Visitors and stakeholders alike can look forward to various attractions this year apart from the inter-school and college events and health camps.

Some tips from HCFI

  • It is important to focus on preventing infections. For instance, be at least 3-feet away from someone who has a cough or cold.
  • Bacterial infections can be avoided by following proper handwashing techniques.
  • One should be careful in a healthcare setting as much as in a hospital. In a clinic with multiple patients, beware of the door knobs and bathroom seats. All these are potential sources of infection. Women should wipe off the toilet seat before use as it may carry a dry infection.
  • Doctors should ensure that antibiotics are written in bold or underlined with a red pen when prescriptions are given.
  • Farmers and food industry must stop using antibiotics routinely to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy animals to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance.
  • Always look for a Red Line mark in the medicine you buy, the red alert indicates that its an antibiotic

Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) felicitates principals and teachers on World Heart Day

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  • The event aimed at creating awareness on antimicrobial resistance and importance of heart health
  • All educators trained on hands-only CPR

New Delhi, 29th September 2018: The Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI), a leading national not-for-profit organization, organized the HCFI Teachers’ Awards on 29th September 2018, commemorating the World Heart Day, at IMA hall.About 40 principals and 10 teachers from various government and private schools in Delhi-NCR received the awards for their exemplary contribution to health education at the school level.

Dr Sanyam Bharadwaj, Controller of Examinations, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) was the Chief Guest at the event. The other dignitaries present included Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI; Dr Sujeet Kumar Singh Director and Dr Sunil Gupta, Additional Director National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). The event was organized as a precursor to the 25th Perfect Health Mela to be held from 23rd to 27th October 2018 at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi.

Speaking at the event, Dr Aggarwal, said, “At the outset, I congratulate all those who have received the awards today. Apart from being centres for imparting formal education, schools also influence the overall development of a child. Therefore, any healthy habits and hygiene practices inculcated at this stage will stay with children all their life. They are thus both beneficiaries of any health-related activity and agents of change in their family. As educators, teachers and principals can help sow the seeds of good health at a young age and encourage students to impart this knowledge further.”

Dr Sujjet K Singh sensitized all those present on the importance of heart health and the rising incidence of antibiotic misuse. Everyone was also trained in the technique of hands-only CPR by Dr Aggarwal. CPR can help save a life during a heart attack.

Adding his comments, Dr Sunil Gupta, said, “Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise today thanks to misuse of antibiotics. It is imperative to create awareness on the fact that antibiotics are not sweets or chocolates but scheduled and toxic drugs that must be taken only on prescription by a health specialist. Just as they have been taught to say no to crackers, principals and teachers must guide children to follow the practice of not consuming antibiotics without actual need. Children and grahinis can become the drivers of this change.”

Some awardees include Ms Sonia Luthra, Principal, ASN Senior Secondary School, Mayur Vihar; Dr Neelu Goswami, Principal, VSPK International School, Rohini; MsDebolina Mukherjee, Teacher, Air Force School, Subroto Park; Ms Sarika Arora, Principal, Ramjas School, Anand Parbat; and Ms Nidhi, Principal, CRPF, Prashant Vihar.

Ms Sarika Arora, said, “I am extremely honored to receive this award. It is not just an encouragement for all the educators present but also a reaffirmation of our role in acting as agents of change in the lives of children.”

Heart health, antibiotic resistance, and CPR will be some important aspects of the Perfect Health Mela this year. The event is HCFI’s flagship project and one of the most visited community health events, covering all aspects of health, witnessing a footfall of over a lakh every year. meters. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Affordable Healthcare.’ It will be widely covered by both digital and media (electronic, print and outdoor) and will serve as the perfect educational yet fun outing for everyone.The Mela celebrates its Silver Jubilee this year and promises many exciting features for all who attend.

Antibiotic resistance rapidly spreading around the world

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These resistant bacteria can lead to severe infections and mortality in the long term

New Delhi, 04 September 2018: A superbug resistant to all known antibiotics is spreading undetected through hospital wards across the world, according to scientists. The bacteria, known as Staphylococcus epidermidis, is related to the better-known and more-deadly MRSA. Found naturally on human skin, it most commonly infects the elderly or patients who have had prosthetic materials implanted, such as catheters and joint replacements. The bacteria can cause “severe” infections or even death over time.

Many of the most powerful antibiotics are extremely expensive and even toxic, and the team behind the study said that the practice of using multiple drugs at once to prevent resistance may not be working. The World Health Organization (WHO) has long warned of antibiotic overuse sparking new strains of killer, drug-resistant bacteria.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Antibiotics are different from all other classes of drugs in a very important way: the more a person uses them, the less effective they can become. For a country like India, where over-prescription and misuse of antibiotics is rampant, it is only a matter of time before the resistant bacteria win. Several of these medicines can be obtained without a prescription. What further complicates the problem is inequalities in access to medicine and poor sanitation services. And when farmers use antibiotics to speed the growth of chickens and other livestock, drug-resistant germs find new ways to enter the environment.”

In 2017, the WHO classified antibiotics into three groups to address these challenges. The body also issued guidance for how each class of drugs should be used to treat 21 of the most common infections.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Vice President of CMAAO, said, “Doctors as well as patients should be aware of and advocate judicious use of antibiotics. Over-prescription and self-prescription, both, need to be checked. One of the biggest reasons for the misuse of antibiotics is buying them over-the-counter without consultation with a doctor. Before prescribing antibiotics, always ask yourself: Is it necessary? What is the most effective antibiotic? What is the most affordable antibiotic? What is the most effective dose? What is the most effective duration for which the antibiotic should be administered?”

The 25th MTNL Perfect Health Mela 2018 will be a platform to discuss some of these topics apart from other health-related subjects. The event will be held from the 24th to 28th of October at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi.

Some HCFI tips to combat antibiotic resistance.

  • Practice rational use of drugs antibiotics
  • Use when needed and according to guidelines
  • Avoid broad spectrum antibiotics without appropriate diagnosis
  • Prevent infections with the use of vaccination and by improving basic hygiene including hand hygiene and infection control techniques and sanitation in health care settings as well as in the community
  • Farmers and food industry must stop using antibiotics routinely to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy animals to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance.

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