Strengthening antimicrobial stewardship activities in secondary and primary public healthcare facilities in India: Insights from a qualitative study with stakeholders

Anita Kotwani, Sumanth Gandra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Examining the existing federal and state policies in place that could strengthen antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) activities in district and sub-district hospitals in India. Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with national and state level policy makers and various stakeholders at a district hospital. For national level, officials from the National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC) were approached. The state of Haryana was selected and officials from Haryana State Health Systems Resource Centre (HSHRC), a state-level counterpart of the NHSRC, along with officials from the Health Department and relevant stakeholders from one of the district hospitals of the Haryana state were selected as participants. The recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and thematic analysis was done. Results: Several measurable elements within the existing policies such as National Quality Assurance Program (NQAP) and Kayakalp program, could be leveraged to strengthen AMS activities in district and sub-district hospitals, were identified. These cover aspects such as infection control, standard treatment guidelines (STGs), prescription auditing, essential medicine list (EML), availability of antimicrobials and incentives for meeting quality standards. Revising the EML based on WHO AWaRe classification, incorporating the STGs for common clinical infections from the WHO AWaRe antibiotic book and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), program mandated requirements for dedicated staff/standards for AMS activities and antimicrobial-specific prescription audits as per WHO AMS tool-kit and ICMR AMS guidelines are identified as opportunities for strengthening AMS activities. Further, hindrances in executing existing policies were also identified such as shortage of human resources, reluctance to follow STGs, and limited availability of diagnostic microbiology laboratory services. Conclusion: Implementing NQAS and Kayakalp program in public healthcare facilities are identified as existing well working key programs that aid in improving AMS activities with incorporation of WHO and ICMR recommended practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-63
Number of pages5
JournalIndian Journal of Medical Microbiology
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


  • AWaRe antibiotics
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Antimicrobial stewardship
  • Antimicrobials
  • Health care facilities
  • Public policies
  • Standard treatment guidelines


Dive into the research topics of 'Strengthening antimicrobial stewardship activities in secondary and primary public healthcare facilities in India: Insights from a qualitative study with stakeholders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this