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Travel Med Infect Dis. 2018 Mar - Apr;22:25-29. doi: 10.1016/j.tmaid.2018.02.004. Epub 2018 Feb 16.

Antibiotics use among Palestine refugees attending UNRWA primary health care centers in Jordan - A cross-sectional study.

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Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany. Electronic address:
Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, School of Population and Public Health, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA HQ (A), Amman, Jordan.


The irrational use of antibiotics is increasing in Jordanian refugee camps and consequently so too is bacterial resistance. About one-third of health expenditures at UNRWA health centers in Jordan are attributed to antibiotics.


We studied knowledge, attitude and behaviour of Palestine refugees attending UNRWA health centers in Jordan regarding antibiotic use in order to plan public health interventions accordingly.


A cross-sectional, interviewer-administered survey among 250 adult Palestine refugees at four different health centers was conducted.


Irrational antibiotic use was widespread: 63% of patients share antibiotics at home, 38% use left-over antibiotics and 60% purchase antibiotics directly from the pharmacy without prescription (OTC) .1 At the same time, knowledge about antibiotics side effects, resistance, and target agent was low. 90% of patients trust their doctor, however long waiting hours prevent them from seeking medical advice, which significantly increased self-medication.


Our findings suggest a strong need for public education about antibiotics. In addition, health institutional level improvements such as shorter waiting hours and strict regulations prohibiting dispensing without prescription are necessary to combat growing bacterial resistance.


Access to health services; Antibiotics; Behaviour patterns; Palestine refugees; Resistance

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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