How can we tackle the overuse of antibiotics in low- and middle-income countries?

Giorgia Sulis, Sena Sayood, Sumanth Gandra

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Abstract

Introduction: Antibiotic overuse is a pressing global health concern, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where there is limited access to quality healthcare and insufficient regulation of antibiotic dispensation. This perspective piece highlights the challenges of antibiotic overuse in LMICs and provides insights into potential solutions to address this issue. Areas covered: This perspective explores key factors contributing to antibiotic overuse in LMICs, encompassing weak healthcare infrastructure, limited access to quality services, and deficiencies in diagnostic capabilities. It discusses regulatory frameworks to curb non-prescription sales, the role of accessible point-of-care diagnostic tools, challenges in implementing effective stewardship programs, the expanded use of vaccines, and the importance of health systems, hygiene, and sanitation. Expert opinion: In this article, we emphasize the need for a comprehensive approach involving collaboration among healthcare professionals, policymakers, researchers, and educators. We underscore the importance of improving healthcare infrastructure, enhancing access to quality services, and strengthening diagnostic capabilities. The article also highlights the significance of education and awareness in promoting responsible antibiotic use, the role of regulatory measures, the expanded utilization of vaccines, and the need for international collaboration to address the challenges of antibiotic overuse in LMICs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1189-1201
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy
Volume21
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • LMICs
  • antibiotic dispensing
  • antibiotic prescribing
  • inappropriate antibiotic use

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