Doctors in Bangladesh now have to resort to reserve drugs or last-resort antibiotics to tackle diseases because germs have become resistant to most antibiotics.
Of all the antibiotics used on patients in the country, 3 percent are from the reserve drugs group, said a research done by the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research.
Most of these reserve drugs are used on patients in Intensive Care Units.
The reserve group includes drugs that should be accessible, but is reserved for the treatment of confirmed or suspected infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms. They are considered last-resort drugs to be used when all other alternatives have failed.
The research paper authored by Dr Zakir Hossain Habib revealed that people aged between 21 and 30 take antibiotics more than the people of any other age group in Bangladesh. Among the people who use antibiotics the most in the country, 53 percent are male and 47 percent are female.
The research was discussed at a programme titled, "Findings from AMR Surveillance in Bangladesh" in Dhaka on Sunday.
Warning against the imprudent use of antibiotics, the speakers at the event said, people will soon suffer because of the unwise use of the drugs. Some germs have become resistant to costly antibiotics, so the current medicines have no effect on patients.
The researchers examined 14,669 patients in nine hospitals across the country. They urged everyone from the public to the policy makers to become more cautious about the use of antibiotics.
Professor Dr Md Abdul Aziz, a member of parliament, spoke as the chief guest at the programme, which was presided over by Professor Dr Mirzadi Sabrina Flora, director of the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research.
Dr Mirzadi Sabrina Flora said, "Some doctors try to appear as magicians for the patients and prescribe antibiotics unnecessarily. On the other hand, patients often want to take antibiotics willingly. These people should be more cautious about using the drug."
The Directorate of Health's Director Professor Dr Sania Tahmina said, "More than 10 million people around the globe will die because of antibiotic resistance. This number is larger than the probable number of deaths caused by cancer."
Dr Md Abdul Aziz said, "The prescription of antibiotics by quacks increases the germs' resistance to the medicine. Even registered doctors should not prescribe more than two to three medicines for patients."