The second session of the AMIS panel series, chaired by Professor Helen Lambert, considers antibiotic use outside of formal healthcare facilities. Through their social research in Asia, Uganda and Australia, Dr Papreen Nahar, Dr Marco Haenssgen, Susan Nayiga and Dr Mark Davis illustrate how antibiotics move across public and private sectors with consumers, who have multiple social roles, turning to a range of healthcare providers and information sources.

Together, these talks problematise the typical ‘Western’ starting point of global antibiotic use initiatives regarding the contribution of the informal sector in providing access to medicines. By not understanding local realities and the role of antibiotics as ‘safety nets’ and ‘quick fixes’, such efforts might inadvertently create new forms of marginalisation and health inequality. Developing a critical understanding of informality, providing alternative forms of safety-netting and acknowledging the mixed messages given to consumers regarding ‘appropriate’ antibiotic use are proposed as means by which to sustainably intervene. The presentations and the subsequent discussion also reflect upon the interface between public and private sectors – for example how information and regulatory efforts flow between the two – and consider how the private sector might be further engaged in antibiotic stewardship efforts.

To learn more about our panelists and the upcoming sessions, please see here.