UN to regulate use of antibiotics in member countries: Minister of Health

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September 26, 2022, 3:20 p.m.

Last modification: September 26, 2022, 3:25 p.m.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque. Photo: collected.

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Health Minister Zahid Maleque. Photo: collected.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque has expressed concern over the widespread sale of over-the-counter antibiotics amid calls from the United Nations (UN) to regulate overuse of the drug.

The Minister of Health is now in New York to attend the 77th United Nations General Assembly.

“The UN has urged its member states to formulate policies and laws so that the overuse of antibiotics can be avoided,” he told UNB in ​​New York on Sunday.

He said the issue of antibiotic use had received particular attention during the UNGA debate.

“This year, the UNGA held three sessions on health in which I had participated. The issue of antibiotics, in particular antibiotic resistance, was widely discussed during these sessions.

“Countries at the sessions expressed deep concern that people around the world were using antibiotics without a prescription, and it was found that people in low- and middle-income countries were using more antibiotics than people rich countries,” he added. he added.

Zahid said one of the reasons antibiotic use is so widespread is that the drug is sold without a prescription.

“Anyone can buy antibiotics directly from pharmacies without showing a prescription. People develop resistance to antibiotics in their bodies because of such easy access.

“This means that antibiotics cannot cure the disease for which they are consumed. As a result, many people around the world are dying not from disease, but from drug absorption,” the minister added.

Calling antibiotic resistance a terrifying phenomenon, Zahid added that the UN has stressed the need to invent new antibiotics that are more effective and safer than existing ones.

“At the UN session, Member States were urged to provide health services appropriately. They were also urged to ensure that no one availed of medicines such as antibiotics without a prescription.

“Most importantly, the countries present at the session are committed to ensuring that everyone is treated by an expert doctor and does not use drugs in a fancy way,” the minister said.

Responding to a question, the minister said Bangladesh’s health system was praised at the UN session.

“Our success in managing Covid-19 has been praised by all. In addition, the medicines we produce and export have also been acclaimed.

“We screened a documentary in which we showed our achievements in the health sector, which was well received. Overall, the response to the health industry in Bangladesh has been quite positive,” said Zahid.

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