Self-medication causing health crisis in Afghanistan

 Mon 13 Nov 2017

KABUL (SW): This week is the World Antibiotic Awareness week. In Afghanistan, however, most citizens use antibiotics without any doctor’s prescription. The use of antibiotics without prescription costs money and also can endanger the health of people.

I went to pharmacies in the city to find out why people used antibiotics without prescriptions. I met Arif Mohammadi who has taken medicine from one of the pharmacies. I asked him why he purchased medicine without doctor’s prescription?  Mr. Mohammadi said he has always gone to doctors, but their diagnoses were not right and they have prescribed several medicines for one disease.  

According to Mr. Mohammadi, most doctors, regardless of the type of illness, write a large amount of antibiotics in their prescriptions for patients.

Basigul Sharifi, another resident of Kabul, also said that she had taken her child to a doctor, but the doctor prescribed a large amount of strong antibiotics that caused him severe allergies. Mrs. Sharifi said that she will not go to a doctor until she gets seriously ill because she doesn’t trust the doctors anymore.

Mohammad Asif, the owner of the Farda (tomorrow) pharmacy told Salam Watandar that the use of medicines, especially antibiotics, has increased in the country. According to him, those who visited a doctor for their sicknesses, 20 to 30 percent of them were prescribed antibiotics.

Abdul Hafiz Queraishi, Director of Medicine Services of Ministry of Public Health said the consumption of antibiotics in the country has been increasing and more than 50% of the antibiotics have been used without prescriptions.

Antibiotics are the most commonly used drugs among today’s medicines. This drug confronts the pathogens by killing germs or stopping their proliferation.

Penicillin was the first antibiotic that was accidently detected from a mold that developed on staphylococcus culture plate. Today, there are more than 100 different kinds of antibiotics that are prescribed by doctors to treat various diseases. But the arbitrary and improper use of antibiotics can be dangerous.