Reverse the trend of antibiotic resistance to save people

Antibiotics are life-saving drugs, but misuse of it over the years in Bangladesh has turned antibiotics mostly ineffective.

The Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University’s (BSMMU) recent revelation that most of the country’s first and second generation antibiotics have become nearly 90 per cent ineffective to treat patients should create alarm among the country’s health policy makers.

This figure of antibiotic resistance emerged from the sample examination of 72,670 patients who came to BSMMU from different areas including the capital in the last one and half year.

It was earlier revealed that patients who underwent operation in the BSMMU operation theater died more because of antibiotic resistance resulting in infection than by the actual disease itself.

However, antibiotics resistance has been in the discussion for several decades, but as the health ministry and the medical community did not take the matter seriously, nothing is done in reversing this very dangerous trend. In fact, it increased more as years passed.

In Bangladesh even in the hands of medical professionals antibiotics are becoming ineffective as they randomly use some antibiotics that are reserved as the last step of treatment.

But the World Health Organization cautions that this reserve group of antibiotics should not be used at all unless in extreme danger.


It is very apparent that what should normally be used in intensive care units are now being used in general hospital wards.

Still, drug sellers in drug stores urban as well as rural areas act like doctors and they on their own give antibiotics to the patients/customers, albeit illegally little knowing that whether the patients actually need those drugs and their right dose for patients with different age groups.

Drug sellers who hang stethoscopes around their necks like doctors may teach you that ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic but metronidazole is not.

Not surprisingly, misuse of the latter has caused it to lose its effectiveness for patients of operation theatre or ICU. As misuse of antibiotics is so rampant, it is creating havoc on public health.

Every year one lakh and seventy thousand people die in the country due to antibiotic resistance.

If the government and the medical community let the trend of antibiotic resistance go as it is now, more people will surely die from it.