IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


13th January, 2024 Health

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Picture Courtesy: www.downtoearth.org.in

Context: Kerala's "Operation Amrith" focuses on combating antibiotic resistance by addressing the misuse of antibiotics, aiming to safeguard the health of the state's citizens from the potentially deadly consequences of antibiotic resistance.

About Operation Amrith

  • Operation Amrith (Antimicrobial Resistance Intervention For Total Health) is an initiative launched by the Kerala Drug Control Department to address the issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the state.
  • AMR is a global health concern as it refers to the ability of bacteria and other microbes to resist the drugs used to inhibit or kill them. The overuse and misuse of antibiotics contribute significantly to the development of AMR, posing a threat to public health.

Regulatory Measures

  • The Drugs Control Department plays a crucial role in regulatory actions to optimize antibiotic use.
  • Pharmacies are required to maintain accurate records of antibiotic sales.
  • A poster stating 'antibiotics not sold without doctor’s prescription' must be displayed in the establishment.

Public Participation

  • The public is encouraged to actively participate in combating AMR.
  • Citizens can report pharmacies selling antibiotics without a prescription to the Drug Control Department.

Surprise Raids and Complaint Mechanism

  • Operation Amrith involves surprise raids in retail medical shops to detect over-the-counter (OTC) sales of antibiotics.
  • A Toll-Free Number (18004253182) is provided for lodging complaints against medical shops.
  • Once a complaint is received, it is transferred to the corresponding zonal office for verification, and immediate departmental actions are taken if a violation is detected.

State Action Plan on AMR (KARSAP)

  • Kerala was the first state in India to develop a state action plan on AMR, known as the Kerala Anti-Microbial Resistance Strategic Action Plan (KARSAP), in 2018.
  • KARSAP reflects a multi-sectoral approach, addressing human, animal, and environmental dimensions of the AMR problem.

Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness Campaigns

  • Kerala has undertaken initiatives like the Antibiotic Literate Kerala Campaign to raise awareness about AMR.
  • Block-level AMR Committees have been established in all 191 blocks in the state.

Commitments and Programs

The health department in Kerala has committed to phasing out the over-the-counter sale of antibiotics without a prescription.

The Programme on Removal of Unused Drugs (PROUD) facilitates proper disposal of unused antibiotics.


  • Operation Amrith, along with the broader initiatives and commitments in Kerala, reflects a comprehensive and proactive approach to tackling the issue of antimicrobial resistance at the state level. The integration of regulatory measures, public participation, awareness campaigns, and surveillance efforts contribute to a holistic strategy for addressing this global health challenge.

Must Read Articles:

Critically Important Antimicrobials: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/critically-important-antimicrobials


Q. Which of the following is the primary reason Operation Amrith was in the news frequently?

A) It launched a new line of Ayurvedic medicines.

B) It introduced genetically modified crops in agriculture.

C) It cracked down on illegal wildlife trafficking.

D) It aimed to curb antibiotic misuse and combat AMR.

Answer: D


"Operation Amrith" refers to a public health campaign launched by the Kerala government to combat the growing threat of antibiotic resistance (AMR). This initiative aims to curb the misuse of antibiotics, a major contributor to AMR, and protect the state's citizens from its potentially deadly consequences.