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A Study on Antibiotic Usage and Resistance in Ras Al Khaimah

Antibiotic resistance (AR) is a significant threat to the health of many worldwide. The emergence of AR has become the main source of morbidity and mortality from infections that would otherwise have been treatable. AR is mainly caused by the inappropriate use of antibiotics. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), bacterial resistance to antibiotics is escalating due to: a) practice of self-medication with antibiotics among the residents of the UAE; b) the easy procurement of antibiotics from local pharmacies without prescription; and c) expatriates’ importation of antibiotics from their home country. The present study focused on the usage of antibiotics among the population of Ras Al Khaimah. This study surveyed 306 residents of Ras Al Khaimah to understand their knowledge, awareness, attitude, practices, and perceptions on antibiotics usage. The major pharmacies in Ras Al Khaimah were also surveyed to identify whether the policies on dispensing antibiotics are followed. Of the 306 respondents, %49 have practiced self-medication using antibiotics at least once. The study also finds that pharmacies dispense antibiotics without prescription due to customer demand for antibiotics, lack of patients’ time, needs, medical insurance, and money concerns. In conclusion, this study provides insight into the level of AR awareness and usage among the Ras Al Khaimah population and emphasizes the need to implement best practices at the grassroots level to overcome the crisis.

Recommended citation: Vazhappilly, C. G., Fernandes, W., Merheb, M., Matar, R., Hodeify, R., Shimy, M., Radhakrishnan, R., Al Zaabi, F., Marton, J., Al Zouabi, H. A. K., & Hossain, A. (2022). A Study on Antibiotic Usage and Resistance in Ras Al Khaimah (Policy Paper No. 53). Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research.


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