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Indian Express
06 October 2010
By Teena Thacke
New Delhi, India

ALMOST two months after it rubbished the Lancet study on the antibiotic–resistant superbug NDM–1, a team of experts is all set to finalise guidelines on antibiotic use in government hospitals by this month.

The task force includes experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), National Centre for Communicable Diseases (NCDC), Hinduja hospital, Mumbai and other renowned institutes.

In a recent meeting presided by Director General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr RK Srivastava, the experts worked on the broad contours of the guidelines.

According to experts, the guidelines will make sure that antibiotics are used judiciously so that resistance to commonly used antibiotics does not develop rapidly and the medicines are available to treat critically ill patients.

They are likely to recommend a different set of antibiotics depending on the disease – meaning mild ones for out–patient and emergency patients and strong and high–end antibiotics for those under intensive care.

"We have to make sure that strong antibiotics are not misused or used to treat milder infections that can be treated by simple antibiotics. This will prevent overuse and misuse of strong antibiotics, which will prevent resistance emerging from these antibiotics," said an expert.

Additionally, an infection surveillance mechanism will be mandatory, for which hospitals will have to set up an infection control team.

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