An assessment of community antibiotic use in six low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in Asia and Africa indicates that antibiotics are frequently obtained without a prescription, more so in Asia than Africa. Still, access to antibiotics, the situations in which they are used, and reasons for using them without a prescription varies by country. In a study published last week in The Lancet Global Health, an international team of researchers found that more than a third of individuals and households in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Ghana, Mozambique, and South Africa reported obtaining antibiotics without a prescription or self-medicating with antibiotics. Use of antibiotics without a prescription was most widespread in Vietnam and Bangladesh, and antibiotics in general were more widely available in the Asian countries.

 

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