Antimicrobial Resistance: Protecting Shimla's Health for Generations to Come
Dr Swati Sharma1, and Dr Surekha kumari2*
1Dr Swati Sharma, Department of Microbiology, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
2Dr Surekha kumara, Department of Physiology, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Dr Surekha kumari
Article History: | Received: 25.08.2023 | Accepted: 30.08.2023 | Published: 08.09.2023|
Abstract: Background: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global public health threat that jeopardizes the effectiveness of antibiotics and antimicrobial treatments. Understanding the levels of awareness and knowledge about AMR among the general public is crucial for developing targeted interventions. This study assessed AMR awareness and knowledge among the residents of Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in District Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, from April 2023 to June 2023. The study included 400 adult participants residing in both urban (67.75%) and rural (32.25%) areas. A structured questionnaire covering socio-demographic information and 20 knowledge-related questions on AMR was administered. Data were analyzed using Epi Info V7 Software, and results were presented as frequencies and percentages. Results: The study revealed varying levels of AMR awareness and knowledge among respondents. Approximately 50.5% of participants understood AMR's significance for public health. However, only 21.75% could name at least three microorganisms prone to antibiotic resistance. While 47.75% recognized individual roles in preventing AMR, specific best practices for responsible antibiotic use were known to 38% of respondents. A notable 49% acknowledged the role of healthcare professionals in AMR prevention. Moreover, 30% of participants recognized the importance of reducing antibiotic use in agriculture. Awareness of international organizations or initiatives combating AMR stood at 20.5%. Conclusion: The study highlights moderate AMR awareness among Shimla's residents, but significant knowledge gaps persist regarding contributing factors and practical guidelines for responsible antibiotic use. Tailored public health campaigns and educational initiatives are essential to bridge these gaps and inspire proactive measures in the community. Collaboration between public health authorities, educational institutions, and community organizations is vital to address AMR effectively and safeguard public health.