Finally, Indonesians will soon be more informed about the importance of rationalizing the use of antibiotics. Yayasan Orang Tua Peduli/Concerned and Caring Parents (YOP), a non-government organization formed in Jakarta Indonesia on November 2005, has proposed to engage and strengthen civil society organizations to address aspects of antibiotic resistance impacting child and maternal health in Indonesia. This proposal was presented to the ReAct, Action on Antibiotic Resistance Organization on the 23rd of March 2012 in Jakarta Indonesia.
The overuse of antibiotics is common in Indonesia. In fact, from the early 1990s, a focused assessment revealed that antibiotics consumed 46% of the central level health budget for drugs. They are routinely prescribed for children with various viral infections, which do not need antibiotics such as fever, diarrhea, sore throats, respiratory and digestive complaints. Main reasons why the overuse of antibiotics is common is firstly because of the fact that Over the Counter (OTC) sales are very common even when there is a regulation that only allows antibiotics being available through valid prescriptions and in licensed outlets. Secondly, there are strong financial incentives for prescribing antibiotics where pharmaceutical sales constitute a direct source of income for hospitals, health centers and individual healthcare workers. Lastly, the public are not well informed and educated on which illnesses can in fact be cured by antibiotics and which are not. Patients seek for an immediate relief and cure from their illness and popular belief seems to show that antibiotics do the job.
YOP is going to execute their mission by holding information session to parents from different districts in the surrounding areas of the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta, and selecting a few families which will then be monitored on their antibiotic usage throughout an allocated timespan. Eventually, the campaign will spread to other large cities in Indonesia and then to local hospitals in rural areas. With this form of campaign, YOP will be able to personally get in touch with Indonesian families who will be encouraged to spread the information among their communities. Information sessions, presentations and other forms to promote the rational use of antibiotics will also be held in major cities and rural areas.