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What contributes to inappropriate antibiotic dispensing among qualified and unqualified healthcare providers in Bangladesh? A qualitative study

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journal contribution
posted on 06.07.2020, 13:03 by Papreen Nahar, Leanne Unicomb, Patricia Jane Lucas, Mohammad Rofi Uddin, Mohammad Aminul Islam, Fosiul Alam Nizame, Nirnita Khisa, S. M. Salim Akter, Emily Rousham
Background: Over-prescribing and inappropriate use of antibiotics contributes to the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Few studies in low and middle-income settings have employed qualitative approaches to examine the drivers of antibiotic sale and dispensing across the full range of healthcare providers (HCPs). We aimed to explore understandings of the use and functions of antibiotics; awareness of AMR and perceived patient or customer demand and adherence among HCPs for human and animal medicine in Bangladesh.
Methods: We used an ethnographic approach to conduct face-to-face, in-depth interviews with 46 community HCPs in one urban and one rural area (Gazipur and Mirzapur districts respectively). We purposefully selected participants from four categories of provider in human and veterinary medicine: qualified; semi-qualified; auxiliary and unqualified. Using a grounded theory approach, thematic analysis was conducted using a framework method.
Results: Antibiotics were considered a medicine of power that gives quick results and works against almost all diseases, including viruses. The price of antibiotics was equated with power such that expensive antibiotics were considered the most powerful medicines. Antibiotics were also seen as preventative medicines. While some providers were well informed about antibiotic resistance and its causes, others were completely unaware. Many providers mistook antibiotic resistance as the side effects of antibiotics, both in human and animal medicine. Despite varied knowledge, providers showed concern about antibiotic resistance but responsibility for inappropriate antibiotic use was shifted to the patients and clients including owners of livestock and animals.
Conclusions: Misconceptions and misinformation led to a wide range of inappropriate uses of antibiotics across the different categories of human and animal healthcare providers. Low awareness of antibiotic action and antibiotic resistance were apparent among healthcare providers, particularly those with little or no training and those in rural areas. Specific and targeted interventions to address AMR in Bangladesh should include educational messages on the rational use of antibiotics and how they work, targeting all types of healthcare providers. While tailored training for providers may increase understanding of antibiotic action and improve practices, more far-reaching structural changes are required to influence and increase responsibility for optimising antibiotic dispensing among all HCPs.

Funding

Who gets what and when? Pathways of antibiotic use among people and animals in Bangladesh

Economic and Social Research Council

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History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

BMC Health Services Research

Volume

20

Publisher

BioMed Central

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Acceptance date

06/07/2020

Publication date

2020-07-15

Copyright date

2020

ISSN

1472-6963

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Emily Rousham. Deposit date: 3 July 2020

Article number

656

Licence

Exports