Increasing antibiotic usage is driving the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria, which if not mitigated, is predicted to have dire economic repercussions over the next thirty years - threatening both human and livestock healthcare directly and the safety and security of food systems. In India, antibiotic resistance is high on the policy agenda as it has one of the highest burdens of bacterial infections in the world and is also one of the world's biggest consumers of antibiotics for human health. Previous research in this field has demonstrated some of the challenges in tackling this issue, namely the pluralistic nature of human healthcare and the prominent role of informal providers in the supply of antibiotics.
This project aims to explore antibiotic use with livestock in more detail - identifying the typology of livestock healthcare providers and livestock keepers in two study sites in rural West Bengal - and to map the antibiotic supply and value chains for both the human and animal sectors. The findings from this project will be used to co-design an antibiotic stewardship intervention with multiple stakeholders and to assess the feasibility and acceptability of this intervention with a small group of antibiotic value chain actors.
The project is a collaboration between RVC, The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (lead institution), West Bengal University of Animal & Fishery Sciences, Institute of Development Studies, and the Public Health Foundation of India and it is funded by the Medical Research Council under Joint Health Systems Research Initiative (MRC Reference: MR/S013598/1).