New CSE report focuses on major ethnoveterinary medicine programme  

AMR has been recognized as a ‘silent pandemic’ and is a global public health threat today

Ethnoveterinary medicine (EVM) involves the use of traditional / herbal preparations in treating diseases of cattle

Delhi-based think-tank, Center for Science and Environment (CSE), will release a special report to mark World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) on November 21, 2022, according to a statement.

The publication, prepared by Down To Earth Magazine, is titled Ethnoveterinary medicine: An alternative to antibiotics for the dairy sector. It will be released during a webinar in the afternoon on November 21.

Ethnoveterinary medicine (EVM) involves the use of traditional / herbal preparations in treating diseases of cattle.

CSE, as part of its assessment of EVM, has captured the findings of one of the biggest ongoing programs on EVM in the Indian dairy sector led by the National Dairy Development Board.

The webinar will include a panel discussion to reflect on this case study, and challenges and possibilities in scaling up EVM as an effective alternative to antibiotics in India and beyond.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been recognized as a ‘silent pandemic’ and is a global public health threat today. More and more antibiotics are becoming ineffective, and infectious diseases are becoming difficult to treat due to this phenomenon.

Some 4.95 million deaths were associated with, and 1.95 million deaths directly attributable to bacterial AMR across the world in 2019 according to a study in the journal, The Lancet. Apart from health, AMR is also likely to heavily impact livelihood and economies.

WAAW is celebrated globally every year from November 18-24 to create awareness and understanding on the issue.

This year, the theme of WAAW is Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together. This highlights the importance of strengthening preventive measures to address AMR by working together through a ‘One Health’ approach.

“AMR is a One Health issue. It accelerates due to the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials in human health, animal health, food-animal production, aquaculture and crop production,” according to the statement.

Waste from farms, factories, community and healthcare settings contributes to the emergence and spread of AMR through environmental routes.

“The global momentum to address AMR is largely driven by stakeholders from human health, and animal sector to some extent. It is important that the issue is addressed holistically through concerted efforts from all these sectors,” the CSE statement said.

Prevention implies the adoption of strategies and approaches that can reduce the need for antimicrobials. For example, in human health sector, better sanitation, access to clean water and appropriate hand hygiene can reduce chances of infection and need for antimicrobials.

Similarly, better biosecurity, timely vaccinations, use of alternatives and appropriate waste management can prevent infectious diseases in food-animal production systems.

The prevention agenda therefore means preventing pollution and overuse of chemicals. It provides a cost effective and easy option to contain AMR, particularly for low- and middle-income countries which are resource constrained and who cannot afford the heavy cost of clean up after polluting.