Kochi: India happens to be emerging as the world’s largest consumer of antibiotics, with 62% increase in consumption. This in turn is leading to a noticeable crisis developing in microbial resistance to standard antibiotic treatments. Keeping in mind the current antibiotic scenario, the Kerala University of Health Sciences (KUHS) in the state’s effort in antibiotic stewardship and infection prevention & control program, has revised its curriculum. It has added an antibiotic chapter, as part of the MBBS study program for the current academic year.
The policy on antibiotics under this program is supposed to be introduced to MBBS students on initiation of clinical interaction in the third year. The effort is to help house surgeons and PG students to develop a better understanding of the policy.
“This is the first time that a health university is taking an initiative to teach antibiotic rationale policy to students in medical colleges. This is not needed as per Medical Council of India rules,” said Dr K Mohanan, Member, KUHS Governing Council, who is accountable for curriculum revision at the university .
An introduction to antibiotics for MBBS doctors is being undertaken, in order to, minimize the morbidity and mortality due to infections caused by antimicrobial-resistant organisms; and also for preservation of the effectiveness of antimicrobial agents in treatment & prevention of communicable diseases. The awareness generated among medical practitioners, is bound to create an understanding among them about rational usage of antibiotics- a need of the hour.
KUHS officials are of the opinion that the policy needs to be introduced to doctors as a separate area of study, as the ever growing awareness need does not allow it to be curtailed to a chapter in a pharmacology or microbiology class.In accordance to the revised syllabus it is to be introduced to students right after their first year; and then gradually turned into an in depth analytical observation, during their clinical interactions in the third semester. Though separate exam would not be conducted by colleges for the subject, while “Colleges on their own can conduct a test to review student understanding of the subject before and after class. Then we will know what needs to be done,” added Dr Mohanan.
“We hope this will be a beginning to ensure a rational antibiotic prescription practice in future. This will be compulsorily taught in all colleges. At present, in introduction to pharmacology and microbiology, students are introduced to antibiotics in the second year,” said MKC Nair,KUHS VC, reported TOI.
The concept behind introducing the study of antibiotics is to help a medical student develop practical rationale into the biology of effective agents and their interaction, the use and misuse of antibiotics and current practices.
“The focus is to ensure that students gain experience in diagnosis and management of community acquired and nosocomial infections, rational antibiotic prescription, infection prevention and control,” said medical superintendent of Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr Sanjeev Singh, who aided the government in formulating the policy.