icddr,b develops strategy to promote rational use of antibiotics

Staff correspondent

11 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) has developed strategies to improve antibiotic dispensing and consumption with the use of social and behavioural change communication interventions.

The strategies are guided by the findings of a recent study on ‘Pathways of antibiotic use in Bangladesh’ or the PAUSE study, which looked at how antibiotics are used by people in Bangladesh for illness in humans and also for their livestock and animals.

The study identified important behaviours around antibiotic use, such as where people go for antibiotics, what illnesses they seek antibiotics for and their understanding of how antibiotics work.

icddr,b scientists presented the findings of the study at a dissemination seminar jointly organised by Loughborough University, Durham University and the University of Bristol, UK have at icddr,b’s Sasakawa auditorium in Mohakhali in the city on Wednesday, according to a press release.

At the seminar, the scientists shared insights regarding the ways to address this growing problem by using social and behaviour change communication messages.

The experts said antimicrobial resistance is an increasing global health challenge. The widespread use of antimicrobials, particularly antibiotics, has accelerated the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when a drug that was effective against a particular microbe causing disease is no longer effective against that microbe. Antibiotics are essential for fighting bacterial infections, but many bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics, they added.

The dissemination seminar includes an overview of the PAUSE study by Dr Emily Rousham at Loughborough University, UK, following an overview of antimicrobial resistance in Bangladesh presented by Dr Aminul Islam, Adjunct Scientist at icddr,b and Assistant Professor, Washington State University, USA.

The study has interviewed 46 urban and rural healthcare providers ranging from qualified doctors and veterinarians to unqualified drug shop owners to find out the challenges they face in the dispensing and sale of antibiotics.

In addition, 48 households from urban and rural areas were interviewed. With these insights, the team have developed strategies to improve antibiotic dispensing and consumption with the use of social and behavioural change communication messages.

The research complements national policies to improve antibiotic use in Bangladesh such as the Bangladesh Model Pharmacy Initiative.

Addressing the seminar, Md Rofi Uddin of icddr,b presented the insights about household decision-making and antibiotic use for family members and livestock.

Dr Papreen Nahar, University of Sussex, UK shared findings of qualified and unqualified healthcare providers’ experiences of dispensing antibiotics and antimicrobials.

Fosiul Alam Nizame, associate scientist of icddr,b, presented prototype intervention messages and materials developed following the formative study which would encourage appropriate use of antibiotics and enjoying a healthy life.

Fosiul Alam Nizame said, “We are now facing a situation where antibiotics may no longer be effective against organisms causing disease. We must promote the rational use of antibiotics while giving households continued access to essential healthcare”.  

Prof Abul Kalam Azad, director general of DGHS was present as the chief guest at the seminar.