Abigail Arthur has contributed this posting to the Blog site for the JHU site for the course Social and Behavioral Foundations of Primary Health Care. Antibiotics are designed after years of research to determine which specific organisms they target, and at which doses they are effective. Hence, they must be used with strict adherence to prescription instructions to ensure maximum effectiveness. Unfortunately, there is a trend here in Lagos showing the gross misuse of antibiotics. This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 0.55839100_1579681866_nigeria-amr.jpg Adapted from https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/health/antibiotic-resistance-nigeria-stares-at-a-major-catastrophe-68915 The factors driving this phenomenon range from the misconceptions and practices of individuals and their contacts to factors associated with the communities and institutions within, same as well as the policies governing both. In Lagos, much of the misuse is fostered by extremely easy access to antibiotic medications aided by poorly implemented drug regulation policies. For instance, in 2005, there were 100 times more basic drug stores (patent and proprietary medicine vendors) than licensed pharmacy shops in Nigeria. ? While the operators of these basic drug stores have very little to no pharmaceutical knowledge, they are the first point of call for medications in the community.

The effect?

The next time you use the red and black tablet(ampicillin) for a skin infection, or an upper respiratory tract infection, it may not work due to the resistance built by microbes to these abused antimicrobials. ? Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) leads make treatments dear as newer generation (and pricier!) medication is then needed. Unfortunately, AMR can also lead to fatalities.

The way forward:

Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs (AMS) instituted by the Ministry of Health was implemented across only 6 health facilities in Lagos state in 2021. ? Our focus of advocacy is to encourage policy makers to consider antimicrobial resistance as an upcoming emergency following the progressive misuse of antimicrobials in the country. We call for proper control on the sale and advertisement of antimicrobials, an improvement in the patient to prescriber ratio and a strengthening of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program already in place.