Antibiotics Misuse and Factors Leading to Its’ Abuse in Kurdistan Region

Kemal M. Surji


Antimicrobial consumption is a major risk factor for antibiotic resistance and a routine practice in Kurdistan Region. Purchase of antibiotics without prescription by patients is a common practice by self-medication. Similarly, the majority of the people do not adhere to complete course of prescribed antibiotics because they often feel well after taking a few tablets. Unnecessary antibiotic use for viral illness is typical and will lead to increasing rates of antibiotic resistance. Self-medication pervasiveness with antibiotic in Kurdistan is disturbingly high, the unregulated practice of prescribing practitioners and no enforcement of the laws that prevent dispensing without prescription of antibiotics in community pharmacies contribute to antibiotic overuse. Furthermore, lack of education, patients' expectations, past experience, and economic incentives, diagnostic uncertainty, Poor drug quality, unsanitary conditions accounting for the spread of resistant bacteria and most importantly the political corruption and inadequate surveillance are factors for reform in health practice in Kurdistan.  Consequently, it is imperative to implement multifaceted interventions to reduce overuse of antibiotics. The recommended interventions are medical and public education, auditing and limiting antibiotic choices, develop prescription guidelines, emphasizing on quality compliance, monitoring manufactured and imported antimicrobial medications, improved public sanitation and hygienic practices, development of a proper hospital infection control procedures. Additionally, transparency of healthcare budget, expenditure and appoint qualified individuals based on expertise in the health system and vitally important the implementation of rapid testing for an antibiogram will enhance the reduction of antibiotic misuse in the region.

Keywords: Antimicrobial resistance, antibiotics, antibiogram, prescription, self-medication, misuse, overuse

DOI: 10.7176/JHMN/24-2016-05

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