Course: Antibiotic Resistance - The Silent Tsunami  –  Part 3

Securing access while reducing excess

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Sometimes, lack of access to effective antibiotics is a bigger problem than excessive use and emergence of resistant bacteria. Access to appropriate treatment requires financial, human and health care resources, which are often insufficient to meet the medical needs in low- and middle-income countries.

Photo: © 2008 Paul Jeffrey, Courtesy of Photoshare

In addition to quality-controlled drugs and trained health-care providers, effective management and treatment of bacterial infections depend on the availability of diagnostic tools that can help distinguish bacteria from other infection types and assess the severity of disease. Microbiological capacity needed to provide data on the infecting pathogens and their susceptibility to antibiotics is costly and is lacking in many settings. The issue of increasing access to effective antibiotics while at the same time reducing excessive use to prevent resistance development is especially challenging in low- and middle-income countries that have very limited resources for health care.

© Uppsala University