"Arming half-baked people with weapons!" Information enclaving among professionals and the need for a care-centred model for antibiotic use information in Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi

Susan Nayiga, Eleanor E MacPherson, John Mankhomwa, Fortunata Nasuwa, Raymond Pongolani, Rita Kabuleta, Mike Kesby, Russell Dacombe, Shona Hilton, Delia Grace, Nicholas Feasey, Clare I R Chandler*, the AMIS, DRUM, HATUA and SNAP Consortia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Background
The overuse of antimicrobial medicines is a global health concern, including as a major driver of antimicrobial resistance. In many low- and middle-income countries, a substantial proportion of antibiotics are purchased over-the-counter without a prescription. But while antibiotics are widely available, information on when and how to use them is not.

Objective
We aimed to understand the acceptability among experts and professionals of sharing information on antibiotic use with end users – patients, carers and farmers – in Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi.

Methods
Building on extended periods of fieldwork amongst end-users and antibiotic providers in the three countries, we conducted two workshops in each, with a total of 44 medical and veterinary professionals, policy makers and drug regulators, in December 2021. We carried out extensive documentary and literature reviews to characterise antibiotic information systems in each setting.

Results
Participants reported that the general public had been provided information on medicine use in all three countries by national drug authorities, health care providers and in package inserts. Participants expressed concern over the danger of sharing detailed information on antibiotic use, particularly that end-users are not equipped to determine appropriate use of medicines. Sharing of general instructions to encourage professionally-prescribed practices was preferred.

Conclusions
Without good access to prescribers, the tension between enclaving and sharing of knowledge presents an equity issue. Transitioning to a client care-centred model that begins with the needs of the patient, carer or farmer will require sharing unbiased antibiotic information at the point of care.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2322839
Number of pages15
JournalGlobal Health Action
Volume17
Issue number1
Early online date5 Mar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Patients
  • Medical Knowledge
  • Farmers
  • Medical Professionals
  • Policy Makers
  • Veterinary Professionals
  • Drug Regulators

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