The “Quick fix” for care, productivity, hygiene and inaquality: reframing the entrenched problem of antibiotic overuse

  21 February 2020

A key global health objective related to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is to reduce antibiotic use. Many interventions to lower antibiotic use are based on models of behavior change. Our extensive ethnographic research over 10 years in East Africa shows why these interventions often have limited impact.

We found that antibiotics are often used as a “quick fix” – they paper over underlying structural issues related to marginality, inequality, violence, health systems and infrastructures. Antibiotics can be understood as a quick fix for care in fractured health systems; for productivity at local and global scales for humans, animals and crops; a quick fix for hygiene in settings of minimized resources; and a quick fix for inequality in landscapes scarred by political, economic and post-colonial violence.

Further reading: Save the Children
Author(s): Laurie Denyer Willis and Clare I.R. Chandler
Effective Surveillance  


Unrestricted financial support by:

Antimicrobial Resistance Fighter Coalition

Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre


JSS University


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