Medicines in the health system - focusing antibiotics
Our vision is optimal use of medicines for the benefit of the health of those in need with minimal harm to people, animals and the environment.
Our group contributes to this in a global health context by research and training aiming at improved use of medicines by providers and consumers in the health system, focusing antibiotics.
Antibiotics are one of few life-saving drug groups. Due to an increasing world-wide development of resistance there is currently a great concern regarding the possibility for future generations to benefit from effective antibiotic treatment.
Our research group is a young group; it has existed less than five years. So far two PhDs have defended their theses within the group, both in 2009. The first was Pham Thi Lan with the thesis "Sexually Transmitted Infections and other Reproductive Tract Infections in rural Vietnam: Current situation, management and implications for control". Examples of findings are; in FGDs, reproductive tract infections, gonorrhoea and syphilis was described as three stages of an STI. Prevalence of any STI was 6.0%.
The second PhD was Nina Viberg with the thesis "Selling Drugs or Providing Health Care? The Role of Private Pharmacies and Drugstores, Examples from Zimbabwe and Tanzania". Its conclusion was "There is a potential to use private pharmacies and drugstores in a more formal way for the benefit of health in the low-income settings studied. Drug sellers have considerable "practical knowledge" of antibiotics and other drugs. Current regulations might impede them from playing a more important role as well as improving their practice". Both these theses included research on sexually transmitted infections, an area of importance from a medical, but also from a social point of view.
Our research focus is "antibiotics". We research use of antibiotics in relation to various diseases, among both humans and animals, and bacterial resistance towards antibiotics and related areas such as antibiotics and resistance in the environment, and aspects in relation to hygiene. Different disease areas like sexually transmitted infections or child infections are commonly targeted in the projects. The research includes various kinds of methodologies including epidemiological studies, qualitative studies and often laboratory investigations of resistance or antibiotic concentrations.
A special interest in the group, that we hope will get a more prominent focus, is intervention studies. Our projects include research both in relation to health care providers and what can be called "end-users", those who actually ingest the medicines, and of course policy implications and translation of research into practice. The group mainly carries out research in Asia, e.g. India, Vietnam and Pakistan, but also in Africa e.g. Sudan and Uganda and in Europe.
There are strong links to Strama, the Swedish Strategic Programme for Rational use of ntibiotics and surveillance of resistance and to "ReAct - action on antibiotic resistance" an international network of networks. The group has a wide network e.g. through Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window Lot 13, India.
Main funding sources: Sida/SAREC, Swedish Research Council, European commission.
For more information please contact the group leader professor Cecilia Stålsby Lundborg.
Ongoing Research Projects
Doctoral theses defended for the last 5 years