Alarm over increased trends of antibiotic resistance in Tanzania

Mr Daudi Msasi. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • A new study conducted in Moshi District, Kilimanjaro Region shows that over 90 percent of 82 traders of medicines and medical equipments sold drugs without a doctors prescription

Dodoma. About 60 percent of patients have been taking antibiotics without a prescription, contributing to increasing trends of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), according to a new study.

The study, conducted in 2017 in Moshi District, Kilimanjaro Region, by the Muhimbili University of Health and Science (Muhas), shows that 92 percent of 82 traders of medicines and medical equipment sold drugs without a doctor’s prescription.

Yesterday, the Chief Pharmacist, Mr Daudi Msasi said pharmacies located in the villages have adversely contributed to the dangerous trend.

Mr Msasi was addressing students in Bahi District where the Roll Back Antimicrobial Resistance (RBA) project that educates people about the challenges of drug resistance is being implemented.

“That is where (in pharmacies) the majority of people receive treatment because over 60 percent of them go there. Let’s see how we will continue monitoring them and provide education that will enable experts to efficiently fulfil their duties,” he said.

He said the challenge was huge in the country, noting that the problem is made complex by people who fail to abide by professional advice from health practitioners.

According to Mr Msasi, unregulated use of antibiotics increases medical bills, leads to disease severity, and sometimes leads to death.

He said failure to take decisive measures would lead to over 10 million deaths per year worldwide, reaching 2050.

He said that through the strategic plan 2023–2028 that provides room for the provision of education, the government will take tough measures to address the challenge.

The privately owned RBA initiative has carried out different activities to encourage and mobilise the community to ad-dress the core causes of the challenge.

RBA project leader, Michael Mosha, said they have been providing education in schools and public transport in order to reach as many people as possible.

A Form III student at Mpamatwa Secondary School, Ms Rose Michael, said the students have been disseminating the knowledge to other members of the community through other gatherings, such as churches and mosques, among others.

“Some students have sometimes been getting sick, and teachers have been giving them medicines without knowing what they were actually suffering from. However, things have now changed after both students and teachers have received education on AMR,” she said.