Alarming use of antibiotics

Regulatory actions required

Overuse of antibiotics without proper medical supervision is threatening lives in Bangladesh. Antibiotics are sold without prescription almost everywhere, and people use them often for any common malady, even cold and viral fevers. 

Such careless use of antibiotics, coupled with the common practice of dropping out of prescribed courses, is giving rise to antibiotic-resistant infections. Researchers fear that if such wrongful practice goes unabated, one day these antibiotics will not work anymore as the 

intake of inadequate amount of antibiotics affects vital internal organs like kidney and liver and make human beings vulnerable to various diseases. 

Hence, authorities concerned should imply a range of actions to stop the misuse of antibiotics and ban the sales of these drugs at pharmacies without prescription.

Antibiotics are not sold without prescriptions in developed countries. But in Bangladesh, one can just go to a pharmacy and get whatever one wants. Though there is no national-level statistics on the use of antibiotics in the country, researchers based on surveys address the situation as dire. 

Emphasizing the need for ensuring the proper

 use of antibiotics, doctors need to evaluate the

 effectiveness of their treatment and antibiotics

 must be prescribed only if unavoidable

In most cases, antibiotics are used randomly in the case of treating pneumonia in children. There are different types of pneumonia among the children but paediatricians prescribe antibiotics of the same dose to all patients without categorising their type of pneumonia. Moreover, physicians are even prescribing them high dose of antibiotics without any necessary test.

Prescribing high power antibiotic at the beginning of any disease is a crime. According to WHO, due to antibiotic resistance in people, over 7.5 lakh people die every year and the number will rise to 10 lakh by 2050 as common infections and minor injuries are claiming lives, raising a concern in the post-antibiotic era. Emphasizing the need for ensuring the proper use of antibiotics, doctors need to evaluate the effectiveness of their treatment and antibiotics must be prescribed only if unavoidable.

Reports show that 55.7 per cent people in the capital have become resistant to antibiotics. This is indeed an antibiotic resistance catastrophe as a result of their excessive use. 

In order to limit it, a regulatory system should be introduced.  If we are unable to stop the practice, at one point all the antibiotics in the world will become useless, and bacteria and disease will become rampant. That is why it is very important that we tackle this issue as soon as possible.