In the wake of the ever increasing antibiotic resistance, the Bangladesh AMR Response Alliance has called for colouring the packet of antibiotics red.
They have also demanded marketing a full course of antibiotics putting in a single packet, inscribing the word 'antibiotic' on the packet in Bangla, and including a lesson on antibiotic resistance in textbooks.
The organisation put forward the demands at a press conference at the National Press Club in the capital on Sunday, ahead of the World Antibiotic Awareness Day to be observed on November 18. The World Antibiotic Awareness Week will be observed from November 18 to November 24.
Professor Md Sayedur Rahman of the Pharmacology department at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University read out a written speech at the press conference.
He said antibiotic resistance means the elimination of effectiveness of antimicrobial.
Mentioning that all drugs lose effectiveness one day, he said antibiotics' losing effectiveness is however a matter of concern. This is because the changes that cause elimination of effectiveness of other drugs take place in human body. But the changes responsible for eliminating the effectiveness of antibiotics take place in the body of the bacteria concerned. The bacteria gain a capacity to resist antimicrobial, and this capacity is transferred from one bacterium to another.
It was revealed at the press conference that the rate of antibiotic resistance is the highest in intensive care unit (ICU). The bacterial isolate found in 70 percent to 80 percent of people died in ICU in the country are antibiotic resistant.
Twenty percent of the bacterial isolate found in ICU in 2011 were resistant against all antibiotics, while the rate increased to 25 percent in 2012.
Speakers at the press conference pointed out that many medicine shops in the country sell medicines without seeing any prescriptions. Often the patients do not complete the full course of medicine. Therefore, a full course of antibiotics should be packaged in one single packet so that patients complete the course.
The Bangladesh AMR Response Alliance is an organisation comprising human and animal health professionals. The organisation has thus far trained up 400 medical practitioners about prescribing antibiotics according to the guideline.