Rajya Sabha

February 6, 2020

Manas Bhunia speaks about the indiscriminate use of antibiotics and antimicrobials

Manas Bhunia speaks about the indiscriminate use of antibiotics and antimicrobials

Sir, I want to draw the attention of the Honourable Health Minister and the entire House, through you, to the fact that the misuse and indiscriminate use of the antibiotic and antimicrobial agents in India have created a dangerous situation for patients. 

We have a population of 130 crore in India, for whom 12 lakh 64 thousand registered qualified doctors are available. The WHO’s (World Health Organisation) is that for every 10,000 patients one doctor should be available. In rural areas, I can understand that it can happen but even in the urban areas and cities, the indiscriminate use of antibiotics is creating a situation of drug resistance. As a result, the most infectious bacteria have acquired a dragon-like stature. They cannot be killed by any antibiotic or antimicrobial agents available in India. A recent study says that India is the worst victim of the misuse and indiscriminate use of antibiotics. 

Antibiotic resistance is a major factor even in the recurrence of tuberculosis. Sir, you can easily understand that tuberculosis is coming back and spreading like fire because the patients are not listening to the doctors’ advice properly of continuing the regime of anti-tuberculosis drugs. Doctors’ prescriptions – for example, an antibiotic should be continued for five days or seven days or ten days or for a prolonged period – are not followed in many cases. As a result, people across all ages, from children right up to the old, and all age groups in our society, irrespective of caste, creed or religion (we should forget about these) have become victims of drug-resistance.  

So I urge upon the Government, particularly the Health Minister, through you, Sir, to compile a survey report from all the States. Our Government in West Bengal, under the leadership of the Honourable Mamata Banerjee, is thoroughly scrutinising the use of antibiotics in our State and she has given the necessary directions in this regard. My humble submission, through you, Sir, is that the Central Government should take the initiative to talk to the State Governments and their Health Departments, including the chief ministers.