The Kerala government is gearing up to launch a campaign against the abuse of antibiotics in the state in the wake of reports that natural resistance power of people was alarmingly decreasing due to its misuse or over-consumption.

Besides launching a public campaign about the dangers of irrational antibiotic usage, the government also has plans to bring out an 'antibiotic policy' by January, with strict treatment guidelines for public and private sector doctors in this regard, health department sources said.

With this, the southern state would become the first in the country to bring out its own antibiotic policy. On the policy, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had, in a recent Facebook post, said directions had already been given to medical colleges on the use of antibiotics by different departments under them.

"Unnecessary use of antibiotics is destroying the natural resistance power of people. It is also dangerous that the sale of antibiotics is being carried out without the doctors' prescription. An awareness campaign will be held for doctors and public in this regard," Pinarayi had said.

According to the health department sources, the indiscriminate use of antibiotics is found to have caused an alarming spurt in 'antimicrobial resistance' (AMR) among people. AMR is the ability of a microorganism like bacteria or viruses to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarial) from working against it.

State Health Secretary, Rajeev Sadanandan, said the AMR would result in making the present standard treatment modes ineffective, infections persist, and push the patients to a life-threatening condition.