It’s often believed that peoples misuse antibiotics because they don’t understand enough about the spread of drug-resistant superbugs, and closing the knowledge gap will change this behavior.
A new study led by Marco J Haenssgen, Assistant Professor at Warwick University questions this view. The study, printed in the medical journal BMJ Open, reveals that basic understanding of drug resistance is widespread in Southeast Asia however that higher levels of awareness are linked to greater antibiotic use within the general population.
The researchers conducted a big-scale survey amongst a representative pattern of the rural population of 69 villages in the north of Thailand and 65 villages in southern Lao PDR.
The survey found that:
- People’s awareness of drug resistance was much like that of many industrialized countries—three in four people in village in Thailand and six in ten in Laos had heard about “drug resistance,” though the time was often interpreted as a change within the human body slightly than because the evolution of bacteria to withstand antibiotic medicine.
- People’s attitudes in rural Thailand and Laos had been usually consistent with recommendations from the World Health Organization to not purchase antibiotics without a prescription. Nonetheless, such attitudes had been linked to disproportionately and potentially problematically high rates of prescribed antibiotics from public clinics and hospitals—as much as 0.5 further antibiotic courses per illness on average when controlling for different drivers of antibiotic use.
- People who obtained antibiotics from unexpected sources, such because the village shop, had been just as conscious of drug resistance as people who relied on public healthcare channels.
- Patients receiving antibiotics from unexpected sources had no less wealth or formal education than users of public healthcare. Certainly, wealthier and extra educated people in Chiang Rai had been significantly related to receiving antibiotics from informal sources, showing that it isn’t merely people on low incomes who receive antibiotics from unofficial sources.