The vast majority of people are not only deprived of medical treatment facilities in Bangladesh, but almost all
the people are under a serious health risk due to the poor management of medicines especially antibiotics. People are not completing courses of antibiotic treatment due to a lack of knowledge or expert advice. This can lead to a situation known as ‘drug resistance,’ where the entire nation of Bangladesh could fall into ‘resistant shock state’ and in the near future too!
It is outrageous that here in the UK, a patient cannot access antibiotics without prescriptions by a medical doctor, though sound advice and good practice information is widely available and generally well understood.
In this article1, The Prime Minister David Cameron has warned, that the world will be "cast back into the dark ages of medicine" unless action is taken. The chief medical officer, Prof Dame Sally Davies, has warned of apocalyptic scenarios including routine infections becoming deadly once again.
Therefore, the £1 Hospital has selected a region in northern Bangladesh where people are at severe risk of antibiotic resistance and who are also lacking in basic treatments and basic awareness programs.
Dr Ali, one of the £1 Hospital charity’s director’s explains:
“In my practical experience I can confirm, that a significant proportion of the patients in Biswanath in Sylhet are using the antibiotic from the pharmacy or from the advice of non-qualified physicians. One of the main reasons for this, is that they simply cannot afford the consultation fees of the physician combined with a lack of awareness of the misuse of antibiotics. In my personal opinion, Bangladesh is one of countries where the usage of antibiotics is highest.”
Faiz et al2 in their study in a medical college hospital in Bangladesh, revealed that the total number of patients who received antimicrobials (69.0%) were prescribed antibiotics for suspected or proven infection and 31.0% and 42.1% of all antimicrobials prescribed were considered inappropriate for prophylaxis. Lack of hospital restrictions on antibiotic use and inappropriate usage for prophylaxis are the main reasons for inappropriate therapy.
Ariful et al 3 made the conclusion in their study published in 2011, ‘It is indeed urgently needed to determine antimicrobial practices in the low-income population, determine the duration of compliance to therapy, reasons for non- compliance, sources of medications and prevalence of use of antimicrobials so that we can better apply the regional recommendations for containment of antimicrobial resistance’.
Our vision is in part, to offer the basic treatment to those less fortunate people, to develop an awareness of the risk of the misuse of antibiotics and save the people from potential antibiotic disaster!
Additionally, to fulfil our initial goal, we would like to put all our efforts to reach our long term goal to establish the full phased general hospital equipped with the specialised unit including the asthma and allergy research sector. It is only possible with the help of the fortunate people like you all.
The £1 Hospital aims to create and improve awareness and provide medical treatment for disadvantaged patients in Bangladesh and later elsewhere. It could utilise the strength of a pound/equivalent money, from the those more fortunate people to make a difference to the lives of the poorest in the remote area in Bangladesh. It could help to develop an awareness and draw the attention of Bangladesh health authority in order to develop a system to protect the people from the risk of antibiotic resistance.
The situation no doubt will get much worse if no action is taken by the government or by organisations such as the £1 hospital who have identified this near crisis point problem and are acting to remedy it.
In particular, we aim to:
Offer the treatment, diagnostic facilities preventive measure from the diseases in the greater area of Biswanath, in Sylhet.
• Raise public awareness misuse of the drug including lifesaving antibiotics.
• Provide information relating to healthcare, promoting good health and informed lifestyles, good practices etc.
We intend to serve not only the people of Biswanath but also in some point the people from any corner of the country even from abroad especially the Philippines.
2. Faiz MA, Chowdhury MK. Pattern of Antlmicrobial Therapy in a Medical College Hospital. Bangladesh Medical Journal. 1989; 18(4): 139-145.
3. Md. Abul Faiz* and Ariful Basher, Antimicrobial resistance: Bangladesh experience, Regional Health Forum – Volume 15, Number 1, 2011.