The role of multidimensional poverty in antibiotic misuse: a mixed-methods study of self-medication and non-adherence in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda
Poverty is a proposed driver of antimicrobial resistance, influencing inappropriate antibiotic use in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, at subnational levels, studies investigating multidimensional poverty and antibiotic misuse are sparse, and the results are inconsistent. We aimed to investigate the relationship between multidimensional poverty and antibiotic use in patient populations in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
We should not assume that higher deprivation drives antibiotic misuse. Structural barriers such as inefficiencies in public health care, combined with time and financial constraints, fuel alternative antibiotic access points and treatment non-adherence across all levels of deprivation. In designing interventions to reduce antibiotic misuse and address antimicrobial resistance, greater attention is required to these structural barriers that discourage optimal antibiotic use at all levels of the socioeconomic hierarchy in LMICs.
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