Antibiotics “most misused drug in the Maldives”: ADK COO

Over-prescription and sale of over-the-counter antibiotics is leading to a rise of resistant super-bugs, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned, with the Maldives no exception.

“Antibiotics are the most misused drugs in the country,” ADK Chief Operating Officer Ahmed Jamsheed told Minivan News today. “People are becoming resistant, and in certain cases they might not even need the antiobiotics.”

The WHO is discussing the overuse of antibiotics and growth of superbugs at the 64th meeting of the Regional Committee for South-East Asia, in Jaipur this week.

Director General Dr Margaret Chan said, “we have taken antibiotics and other antimicrobials for granted. And we have failed to handle these precious, yet fragile medicines with appropriate care. The message is clear. The world is on the brink of losing its miracle cures.”

Jamsheed said he has seen patients with headaches prescribed with powerful antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin. He says a lack of systematic supervision allows pharmacists, who are not educated in medicine, to give antibiotics to anyone who asks regardless of a prescription.

“We have a very rudimentary diagnostic capacity in the Maldives,” said Jamsheed. “Hospitals and physicians are not properly monitored, and patients have a lot of independence to choose the drug they want. There are few national guidelines.”

According to Jamsheed, hospital diagnoses are compromised by inadequate facilities. He said that as organisms  mutate, doctors are not able to keep up. Bacteria samples are usually outsourced, and communication can take weeks. “In some cases, we may not be able to recognise and diagnose a disease until we’ve already lost a few patients,” he said.

Superbugs, or super bacterium, are bacteria that carry several resistant genes and are difficult to treat. When a disease is inappropriately or excessively treated with antibiotics, the body develops an immunity which encourages the bacteria to grow stronger.

Dr Chan said many non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease and cancers, are triggered by “population ageing, rapid unplanned urbanization, and the globalisation of unhealthy lifestyles.”

Chan also noted that “irrational and inappropriate use of antimicrobials is by far the biggest driver of drug resistance.” As communities become more drug resistant, treatments could become more complicated and costly.

ADK Managing Director Ahmed Affal said education was important. “There is an increasing number of antibiotics being prescribed in the Maldives, and we need to talk more. Research shows that there will be problems, as organisms become more resistant.”

Affal said that the majority of cases at ADK are fevers and infections, although heart disease, hypertension, and renal infections are on the rise. “Antibiotics are commonly used for lung infections, and sometimes are given as a preventative measure,” he said.

Speakers at the WHO conference suggested that climate change could accelerate the growth of superbugs. Jamsheed told Minivan News that Maldivians could be more at risk for dengue fever and chikungunya, as well as viral diseases. He predicted that if these diseases were to become more common, the misuse of antibiotics would increase as well and people would become more drug resistant.

“The Maldives is not isolated,” Jamsheed said. “We import almost everything, and any bacteria that is growing elsewhere in the region and the world will certainly be transmitted here.”

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11 thoughts on “Antibiotics “most misused drug in the Maldives”: ADK COO”

  1. “People are becoming resistant"? It is bugs that become resistant. I think this was a typo. Pls do correct.

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  2. Anti-biotics are most abused by ADK doctors, just to boot the sale of the pharmacy. So many of my freinds suffered it from ADK. Does ADK have a guideline or practice what they preach. Hell no.

    Writing this on Minivann is nothing but to attract cheap publicity and to cast ADK in good light.. When the media become the mouth piece of exploters.. shame. shame

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  3. People need to be educated about listening to expert opinions from the medical professionals, rather than coming to get a professional opinion with a prescription of their own. There has been too many times I have witnessed that patients have openly caused trouble to the doctors who does not provide them with whatever medications they need. These days the becoming a doctor means they are to satisfy patients with what ever their needs are even if its meant to do all the investigations or medication needed or not, if not they are labelled as inefficient and ridiculed among the society.

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  4. Bala mee emeehakaai emeeheh system qaumekey!!!!

    Pharmacist is paid for selling drugs as many as possible. The best pharmacist is the who collects much money, hehheeh

    MPs are elected to put themselves in AUCTION so that Qaaroons & the Power-hungry crooks shall buy them in auction..After-all the people are forced not to talk about these dirty crooks' ill-behavior & irresponsibility...

    Judges are appointed for lifetime and people are forced to respect them for failing to do justice

    Those who run shops and catering services have no choice other than squeezing the poor people selling the very basic foodstuff at sky-high prices...

    The root-cause is not only the fund or budget but MISMANAGEMENT & SELFISHNESS of the State authorities.

    May Allah SWT save us from these dirty CRIMINALS. Ameen

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  5. ADK...Please standardize this so called private hospital,ADK,it's so like a primary health center now..No beds,No NICU,always referring cases to some other place carelessly....If you call yourself a private tertiary hospital,then deliver the goods..Stop talking about antibiotics,your doctors are also starting them at the drop of a hat..

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  6. ADK doctors are famous for writing a prescription which is long like a shopping list and always contains more than 2 or 3 antibiotics. And most of the time their doctors use special names for the medicines so that they can be bought only from their pharmacy thus increasing their sales. So I don't think ADK has the odacity to talk about the misuse of antibiotics in this country as we all the know they are major ones who are doing it in the name of business profit and sales increase.

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  7. At first, I was alarmed upon learning about anti-biotic resistant "superbugs".

    But then I figured since evolution doesn't occur here in the Maldives, we should all be more or less safe.

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  8. Before appointing doctors ADK or any clinic will tell the doctors that management giving salary not only for consultation of the patients ,the doctors has to improve the business of their pharmacy and laboratory services. one of the marketing pharmacist for the pharmacy is earning more than 5000 usd as commission for his sales from the company which excludes the salary and other allowances.all nearing expiry drugs are sold like a hot cake including antibiotics. if the doctors are not obeying the orders they will be sent back telling that The doctors VARA SAKKARA.

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  9. ADK has registered most of the Anti-bio-tics in the Maldives. Most import of Anti-bio-tics is by ADK. What are they talking about.

    Maldives Food & Drug Authority seemed to be more concerned over Health Food Supplements and has withdrawn much from its Approved Drug List. Asking pharmaceuticals distributors to register again. Instead they are allowing Anti-biotics to flow in through ADK.

    I think the government wants the general public to be Sick all the time to relieve them through Curative care returning is Sales and admissions.

    They do not want to provide preventive care with health supplements for a healthier public.

    Its all about the MONEY!

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