Following a call from the United Nations to regulate excessive use antibiotics Health Minister Zahid Maleque expressed concern over the widespread sale of over-the-counter antibiotics in Bangladesh. Reportedly, the UN has urged its member states to formulate policies and laws so that excessive use of antibiotics can be prevented. Terming antibiotic resistance as a terrifying phenomenon the UN has emphasised the need for inventing new antibiotics that are more effective and safer than the existing ones.
It is alarming to note that one can buy antibiotics without prescriptions in Bangladesh. Though there is no national-level statistics on the use of antibiotics in the country, researchers based on surveys address the situation as dire. Antibiotics are sold without prescription almost everywhere, and people use them often for any common malady, even cold and viral fevers. Thus overuse of antibiotics without proper medical supervision is threatening lives in Bangladesh. Such careless use of antibiotics, coupled with the common practice of deviating from the prescribed courses, is giving rise to antibiotic-resistant infections. Therefore, authorities concerned should imply a range of actions to stop the misuse of antibiotics and ban the sale of these drugs at pharmacies without prescription.
Overuse of antibiotics without
proper medical supervision is
threatening lives in Bangladesh
Antibiotic resistance is a worldwide problem that is increasing at varying rates in different regions. Bacteria-fighting drugs known as antibiotics help control and destroy many of the harmful organisms that make people sick. But overuse and misuse of antibiotics prompt some strains of bacteria to make a small change in their DNA and become antibiotic-resistant “superbugs”. Globally, superbugs are responsible for seven lakh deaths each year; the number could be more than 10 million by 2050 if things go unchecked, according to WHO.
Reportedly, more than 50 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 with the highest level of efficiency. Also, emphasising 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.