Overdoing It with Antibiotics

Mass produced generics have made first-line antibiotics like amoxicillin affordable to the world’s poor. In Kenya, easy access to antibiotics has led to drug resistance that means salmonella kills a third of kids severely sickened by the disease.

Well known as a problem driven by well-insured wealthy countries, urban poverty is another massive driver of antibiotic resistance.

The impact is disproportionate in poor communities like Nairobi’s Kibera slum. Crowded living quarters, poor sanitation and lax drug oversight fuel resistant infections.

Partial courses or ubiquitous weak counterfeits spur the disproportionate impact. In Kibera, 90% of households reported using antibiotics in the previous year, compared to 17% among American families.

The New York Times


 

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