Brief history of antibiotics

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CHAPTER 1

1.0 Introduction

In Yemen as well as in many other developing countries the quality of health services which constitute social indicators of justice and equity is far from being satisfactory. Inappropriate, ineffective, and inefficient use of drugs commonly occurs at different health facilities (Abdo-Rabbo, 1993; Abdo-Rabbo, 1997). Irrational prescribing is a habit, which is difficult to cure. This may lead to ineffective treatment, health risks, patient non-compliance, drug wastage, wasteful of resources and needless expenditure. According to the Yemeni constitution, “patients have the right to health care and treatment” i.e. appropriate care, consent to treatment and acceptable safety. Therefore, health workers should concentrate on making patients better and patients should concentrate on geting better. Health care in general and particularly the drug situation in any country is influenced by the availability, affordability, and accessibility of drugs as well as the prescribing practices. There are many individuals or factors influence the irrational prescribing such as patients, prescribers, workplace environment, the supply system, including industry influences, government’s regulations, drug information and misinformation (Geest S. V. et al, 1991; Hogerzeil H. V., 1995).Improving rational use of drugs (RUD) is a very complex task worldwide because changing behavior is very difficult. The 1985 Nairobi conference on the rational use of drugs marked the start of a global effort to promote rational prescribing (WHO,1987). In 1989, an overview of the subject concluded that very few interventions to promote rational drug use had been properly tested in developing countries (Laing et al., 2001). The selection of drugs to satisfy the health needs of the population is an important component of a national drug policy. The selected drugs are called “essential drugs” which are the most needed for the health care of the majority of the population in a given locality, and in a proper dosage forms. The national list of essential drugs (NEDL) is based on prevailing health conditions, drug efficacy, safety, and quality, cost- effectiveness and allocated financial resources. WHO’s mission in essential drugs and medicines policy is to help save lives and improve health by closing the huge gap between the potential that essential drugs have to offer and the reality that for millions of people particularly the poor and disadvantaged medicines are unavailable, unaffordable, unsafe or improperly used. The organization works to fulfill its mission in essential drugs and medicines policy by providing global guidance on essential drugs and medicines, and working with countries to implement national drug policies to ensure equity of access to essential drugs, drug quality and safety, and rational use of drugs. Development and implementation of national drug policies are carried out within the overall national health policy context, with care taken to ensure that their goals are consistent with broader health objectives. All these activities ultimately contribute to all four WHO strategic directions to:

  • reduce the excess mortality of poor and marginalized populations
  • reduce the leading risk factors to human health
  • develop sustainable health systems,and
  • develop an enabling policy and institutional environment for securing health gains.

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