Dear Abdullahi Hassan and Joseph Ana,
Thank you for your thoughts on antibiotic resistance. I concur that this is a huge problem, and standards and regulations are key. However, where this group may be able to make an additional impact is in basic awareness spreading. For instance, in Egypt there is a very popular medicine called Antinel. It is commonly used throughout the country for diarrhea and stomach pains. It greatly contributes to antibiotic resistance, as people rarely take a full course of it, stopping after 2-3 days when their pain has subsided. In a conversation with some WHO officials in Egypt, I mentioned this very issue, and they were not even aware that Antinel was an antibiotic because of the way that it had been advertised--as an antiseptic. I am not sure if the pharmacological company that makes Antinel is to blame, or the pharmacists for not giving adequate directions. Regardless, marketing of antibiotics as antiseptics only exacerbates the problem of antibiotic resistance.
Amelia Plant, MPH
Maternal & Child Health, UC Berkeley
HIFA profile: Amelia Plant is a consultant in sexual & reproductive health research & practice. She is originally from the USA and is currently based in Tunis, Tunisia. asiplant AT gmail.com