Antibiotic use, environment and antibiotic resistance : A qualitative study among human and veterinary health care professionals in Orissa, India.

University essay from Högskolan i Halmstad/Sektionen för ekonomi och teknik (SET)


Objective: To explore views of medical doctors, veterinarians and drug sellers on use of antibiotics on humans and nonhumans and on factors that influences the development of resistance to antibacterial agents. Further, to look at the bi-directional relationship between antibiotic use and environment.

Methods: The study was a qualitative explorative interview study, analysed using conventional content analysis. It was conducted in Orissa, India. Data were collected by face to face semi structured interview. The interviews were tape recorded and transcribed into Oriya, then translated in to English. Each paragraph or sentence was coded. Similar codes were clustered together and collapsed into sub categories and categories. The main themes were allowed to emerge, based on the relationship between categories.

Findings: The main finding of the study was mishandling and abuse of antibiotics in patients as well as at professional level due to weak implementation of legislation, which appears to be the major cause of antibacterial agent resistance. Incomplete course or dose due to poverty in rural area and self medication in urban area are more common. The study also showed that climatic factors, pollution and population density are the major ecological factors which influence antibiotic prescriptions. Another major finding of this study was that, due to improper disposal system of pharmaceuticals; antibiotics are contaminating air, water and terrains which can cause major risk to aquatic and grazing animals.

Conclusion: This study emphasises the need for comprehensive actions including information, training, legislation and education at all levels of drug delivery system to rationalize antibiotic use by improving prescribing pattern and creating awareness among consumers. Proper disposal of pharmaceutical wastes is required to prevent the contamination of environment from pharmaceutical pollutants. Further study is essential concerning environmental impact of antibiotics.

Key words: Antibiotic use; antibiotic resistance; environment; qualitative; conventional; content analysis; veterinarians; medical doctors; drug sellers; Orissa; India.

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