Unchecked antibiotic use prevalent in the Solomons

Amoxycillin is an antibiotic used to treat a number of bacterial infections

Taking antibiotics without proper prescriptions from health professionals is common in Solomon Islands.

This week is World Antibiotic Awareness Week, and Solomon Szarb, chief pharmacist at the National Referral Hospital, said people in the country need a better understanding of antibiotics.

He said patients often fail to get proper advice before using antibiotics, which leads to them taking the drugs for viral infections.

“We really don’t know how to differentiate a viral infection from a bacterial infection,” he said. “A viral infection doesn’t need antibiotics to cure. It requires only rest and Panadol, whereas a bacterial infection requires a proper checkup with doctors so that they can give you a prescription and give you antibiotics for a certain number of days.”

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is currently conducting awareness programs in and around Honiara to ensure people get the best treatment.

Mr Szarb said responsible use of antibiotics will also help reduce the threat of antibiotic resistance.

By Fredrick Kusu

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