Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque said the government is working to stop excessive use of antibiotics all over the country in a bid to tackle antibiotic resistance.
“Antibiotics resistance could be found throughout the country. I’ve always attached importance to controlling it. I have already held several meetings with the authorities concerned including Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) in this regard,” he said.The health minister made the statements at a roundtable discussion titled ‘Excessive use of antibiotics and the way out’ jointly organised by the daily Kaler Kantho, CDC of DGHS and USAID at the conference room of East West Media Group Ltd at Bashundhara Residential Area in the capital on Monday.
The minister also laid emphasis on stopping sale of antibiotics without doctors’ prescription.
Kaler Kantho Editor Imdadul Haq Milan moderated the event while former Director General of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Prof Dr M A Faiz presented a keynote speech on the situation of antimicrobial resistance in Bangladesh.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary General of Bangladesh Society of Medicine Dr Ahmedul Kabir, also a professor of Dhaka Medical College Hospital, said it is important to formulate a guideline on who can prescribe antibiotics for patients.
Ahmedul Kabir also emphasized the need for building public awareness about the side effects of excessive use of antibiotics.
Chairman of Department of Pharmacology of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Prof Dr. Md. Sayedur Rahman said around 2.5 lakh medicine stores across the country are selling around 2 to 5 antibiotics to each of 10 lakh people every day.He also recommended colouring packets of antibiotics red and selling a full course of antibiotics putting them in a single packet with inscribing the word "antibiotic" on the packet.
Principal Scientific Officer of Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) Dr ASM Alamgir said raising awareness about antibiotic use is the only way to stop excessive use of antibiotics.
One Health Coordinator and former Vice-Chancellor of Chittagong Veterinary & Animal Sciences University Nitish Chandra Debnath, Director General of Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute (BLRI) Dr Nathu Ram Sarkar, Director of Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) Md. Mostafizur Rahman and Director of CDC, DGHS Prof Dr Shahnila Ferdous also spoke at the programme.