Arifun Nahar, 33, gave birth to her third child on December 16 through a cloister in a private hospital in the capital.
After health complications, doctors kept the baby in a neonatal intensive care unit and applied almost all high antibiotics. As nothing failed, a newborn was transferred to the Dhaka Shisha (Pediatric) hospital where the boy eventually died 28 days after birth.
The cause of his sudden death was otherwise harmless bacteria – Klebsiella pneumoniae – which became deadly, perhaps in a hospital because it was resistant to 15 types of antibiotics.
"The baby developed a Klebsiella pneumoniae infection after birth; most likely from the NICU. That was one of the main causes of his death, "said Daily Star professor Samir K Saha, head of microbiology department at Shishu Hospital.
For nearly a century, antibacterial drugs known as antibiotics help control and destroy many harmful organisms that can make us sick. But in recent decades, overuse and abuse of antibiotics encourage some bacterial strains to make a small change in their DNA and become resistant to antibiotics, experts say.
World Health Organization and researchers in developed countries have long warned that "superperchants" are rapidly spread due to the particularly high use of antibiotics in intensive care units where patients are ill and strong drugs prescribed as routine.
The latest data and analysis by the Department of Microbiology and Immunology (DMI) at Bangaband Sheikh Mujib Medical University confirmed that "super-trumps", as elsewhere in the world, quietly become a major cause for worries in Bangladesh.
The largest manufacturer of bacterial and other infections in the country, DMI fears that Bangladesh could experience a "catastrophic situation" unless "political leadership" immediately takes courageous steps.
"The situation was not like 10 years ago," said prof. Ahmed Abu Saleh, president of DMI. "About 70 percent of deaths in JIL are caused by AMR [antimicrobial resistance] infections ".
AMR is a situation in which microorganisms like bacteria, viruses and some parasites resist medical intervention.
"Basically, there is no new antibiotic in the pipeline for future use. At the same time, antibiotic drugs available lose their effectiveness – which made the scenario more dangerous, he added.
At global level, about 7,000 people die each year due to AMR infections. It is anticipated that the number of such deaths will increase to 10 million by 2050, if things are unchecked, WHO says.
There are no accurate data on the number of deaths caused by AMR infections in Bangladesh.
However, DMI-based laboratory diagnosis based on patient body infections from 2010 to 2018 showed a sudden increase in the number of super-pigs in Bangladesh.
In 2010, superbugs and multi-drug resistance (MDR) bacteria were detected in 6.5% of cases. But according to the research, he increased to 11-14 percent in 2018.
"It's alarming because this percentage is growing faster in the past year than in previous years," Ahmed Abu Saleh said.
The Department of Microbiology at Shishu Hospital analyzed its own data for the same period (2010-2018). These data also show the existence of superbugs in about 11.3 percent of microorganisms tested.
In addition, the Global Partnership for Antibiotic Resistance (GARP) report entitled "Use and Resistance to Antibiotics in Bangladesh 2018" also states that the antibiotic resistance rate is growing in Bangladesh. But he did not provide any quantitative data.
WHY AMR IN BANGLADESH
The use of counterfeit or poor quality of antimicrobial drugs, poor laboratory abilities and inadequate monitoring and control of medicines are among the main reasons for the formation of AMR, reports GARP.
In addition, the report states that AMR is a bad treatment for treatment, non-therapeutic use of antibiotics to stimulate growth in domestic animals, self-treatment and antibiotic-free access.
In Bangladesh, the size of the pharmaceutical market is worth 22 thousand kunas. Of this, 18 percent are taking antibiotic drugs that point to "non-selective use of antibiotics," said prof. Sayedur Rahman, President of the Department of Pharmacology at BSMMU.
Rahman is also a leading researcher of antimicrobial consumption research underway within the WHO. We can say the actual consumption of antibiotics within a few months. "
A study conducted by four bladder investigators in 1500 patients showed that 61.13 percent of patients had antibiotics on average. Among them, about 33.80 percent prescribed unauthorized treatment. The European Journal of Scientific Research has published findings.
Inadequate use of antimicrobial agents in cattle breeding also develops AMR bacteria that can be transmitted by human contact with animals, said prof.
A recent study on Chattogram showed that some 54.55 percent of bird chicks (poultry) are infected with multi-drug-resistant bacteria.
The total number of livestock in the country is 393.14 million, according to cattle breeding data 2017-18.
Experts have urged the government to undertake short-term and long-term AMR control initiatives. Measures include prevention and control of infections, vaccination, antimicrobial control, public and private education, and a unique approach, ie a healthcare approach to human and animal health.
Professor Sayedur said, "First, antibiotic-free antibiotics should be discontinued immediately. Second, the use of antibiotics in the livestock sector, particularly poultry and fisheries, should be controlled. Hand-washing devices should be started in all hospitals.
"There are no solutions to antimicrobial sensitivity testing in more than 50 districts. That's why doctors start from relatively high antibiotics based on their assumption. But that should not be done. "
The government should focus on this issue because it is connected to it with the whole health system, including modern facilities and hygienic hospital maintenance.
Pharmaceutical companies also have responsibilities in this regard. Many of them exert pressure on their representatives to boost sales of high antibiotics, which is wrong, he added.
Professor Saleh said, "Stopping antibiotic abuse is a matter for the government. We, doctors, have very little work in this regard unless the government formulates national policy and is implementing it … But it has to be controlled. "