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Dhaka Tribune

PM Hasina: Sale of antibiotics without prescription must be stopped

Antimicrobial resistance has become an epidemic now, says prof Timothy E Walsh

Update : 26 Feb 2023, 03:53 PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday stressed the need for restricting the sale of antibiotics without the prescription of any registered doctors.

“Antibiotics are available everywhere in Bangladesh, and the sale of such antibiotics without a doctor's prescription must be stopped,” she said.

The prime minister said this while the Director of the Biology Department of Ineos Institute of Antimicrobial Research, Oxford University, United Kingdom, Prof Timothy E Walsh called on her at her official residence Ganabhaban.

After the meeting, Prime Minister's speech writer Md Nazrul Islam briefed reporters.

She said that once antibiotics were given from various community clinics in the country, but now it has been completely stopped.

“Now antibiotics are given from the public hospitals after physicians prescribe these,” she said.

Stressing the need for proper use of antibiotics, the prime minister said that efforts are being made to ensure that antibiotics are not sold everywhere in Bangladesh.

Walsh said that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become an epidemic in the world now. 

If it is not prevented now, it will take a more serious turn in the future, he said.

He expressed his fear that millions of people may die as a result.

He praised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's role as co-chair of the Global Leaders Group on AMR.  

In the meeting, the PM  highlighted the various steps taken by his government for the overall development of the health sector, including the establishment of specialized hospitals and institutes such as the National Institute of Ophthalmology, Sheikh Russel Gastroliver Hospital, Cardiovascular Institute, Cancer and Neuro Science Hospitals.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her government has given special emphasis on research in various fields including agriculture, basic science, and medicine.

She said that apart from providing scholarships for general students, fellowships are given in 200 higher education institutions, especially in PhD, post-doctoral, and research fields.

The Oxford University professor proposed introducing the Bangabandhu IOI fellowship from the Ineos Institute of Antimicrobial Research for Bangladeshi students for research in medical and basic sciences under the fellowship.

In response, the prime minister gave her consent in principle.

In addition, Timothy Walsh also proposed a partnership of the Bangladesh Parliament on AMR with the Caucuses of the British Parliament and the prime minister gave a positive response.

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