Operation AMRITH launched by the Kerala Drug Control Department to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) abuse:


  • Operation AMRITH (Antimicrobial Resistance Intervention For Total Health) aims to prevent the overuse of antibiotics in Kerala. It is part of efforts to optimize the use of antibiotics and combat the growing threat of AMR.

Regulatory Measures:

  • Pharmacies are required to maintain accurate records of antibiotic sales and display posters stating ‘antibiotics not sold without doctor’s prescription’.
  • Strict action will be taken against pharmacies found supplying antibiotics without a doctor’s prescription.
  • Operation AMRITH involves surprise raids in retail medical shops to detect OTC sales of antibiotics.
  • Complaints received are verified by corresponding zonal offices, and immediate departmental actions are taken upon detection of violations.

Public Participation:

  • The public is encouraged to report instances of pharmacies selling antibiotics without prescriptions to the Drug Control Department.
  • A Toll-Free Number (18004253182) is provided for lodging complaints against medical shops.

Collaborative Efforts:

  • Operation AMRITH is part of Kerala’s broader initiative to address AMR, including the Kerala Anti-Microbial Resistance Strategic Action Plan (KARSAP).
  • The state has implemented various initiatives under KARSAP, such as the Antibiotic Literate Kerala Campaign and the establishment of block-level AMR Committees.
  • Kerala has launched the Kerala Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (KARS-NET) for human use surveillance and developed an integrated AMR surveillance plan for non-human sectors.
  • The Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) inaugurated an AMR laboratory for environmental surveillance of AMR.
  • The Kerala government has initiated the Programme on Removal of Unused Drugs (PROUD) for proper disposal of unused antibiotics.

Global Impact of AMR:

  • AMR is recognized as a global health threat, associated with millions of deaths annually and significant economic burdens on healthcare systems worldwide.
  • Operation AMRITH represents Kerala’s proactive approach towards addressing AMR through regulatory measures, public participation, and collaborative efforts across various sectors.

What is Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

  • It refers to the ability of microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, to resist the effects of antimicrobial drugs. 
  • In short, it means that these medications become less effective in treating infections, leading to increased morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs. 
  • AMR is a global health threat that undermines the effectiveness of antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs, making it harder to treat infections and posing a significant challenge to public health.

Also Read :

India’s First Indigenous Hydrogen Fuel Cell Ferry