Antibiotic Resistance (ABR)

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Antibiotic resistance (ABR) is a worldwide problem and Bangladesh is a major contributor to this owing to its poor healthcare standards, along with the misuse and overuse of antibiotics. In recent years, there has been both a surge in antibiotic resistance (ABR) and a decline in the rate of new antibiotic development. ABR poses a significant risk in terms of mortality and economic burden worldwide. However, the developing countries are more affected because of the widespread misuse of antibiotics, non-human antibiotic use, poor quality of drugs, inadequate surveillance, and factors associated with individual and national poverty (poor healthcare standards, malnutrition, chronic and repeated infections, unaffordability of more effective and costly drugs). Furthermore, the scarcity of newer drugs means resistance must be contained before we run out of options to battle it.

Bangladesh, a developing country of Southeast Asia with a high degree of ABR, poses a regional and global threat. In a study performed in Chittagong in 2003, typhoid patients were found to be unresponsive to second-line therapy (ciprofloxacin). First-line therapy was not even attempted because of existing resistance. Therapeutic failures like this are not rare at all. Furthermore, in relation to this, multiple studies have demonstrated irrational antibiotic prescribing by physicians, a habit of self-medication among patients, and the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in agriculture and farming in different parts of the country.

As there is a shortage of new antibiotics, it is of utmost importance that the existing ones are used cautiously. There is evidence that controlled and lowered use of antibiotics can abate resistance. This can be achieved by implementing stricter regulations on antibiotic use, as well as by educating healthcare professionals and the public, as irrational antibiotic use is common in Bangladesh through prescription and self-medication. Antibiotic stewardship programs should also be implemented to optimize the use of antibiotics in healthcare settings. Moreover, in order to obtain more comparable and quality data, standardization of the surveillance methodology is essential. At the same time, regular surveillance needs to be conducted throughout the country to keep track of the resistance patterns of the pathogens.

Finally, Always consult with your doctor before taking any antibiotic. You can call a doctor at your doorstep. If any emergency occurs, call 999 or URAL hotline 01969906555 or use URAL EMS app.