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WCID 2024

Taha Abd ElSalam Ashraf

Taha Abd ElSalam Ashraf, Speaker at Infection Conferences
Fayoum University, Egypt
Title : Antibiotic use & AMR awareness among the general public in seven middle eastern nations: A cross-sectional study


Background: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious and rapidly growing global health threat, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). A study found that 90% of hospitalized infants with sepsis in the Middle East carried antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Yet, public awareness of AMR in the region remains unknown. This study investigated the current level of AMR awareness and antibiotic use across seven Middle Eastern nations.

Methods: We used pre-tested and validated questionnaires to assess AMR awareness of the public in the main provinces of seven Middle Eastern nations (Egypt, Palestine, Algeria, Sudan, Syria, Libya, and Jordan). We employed a convenience sampling method using Google Forms, distributed on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and LinkedIn). Responses to eight questions were used to assess the knowledge level, categorized as poor, fair, or good. We used SPSS Statistics version 24.0. for data analysis.

Results: responses from 12,729 participants comprising 74.6% females from the seven Middle Eastern nations were analyzed. Although 82.3% of the respondents were familiar with the term “AMR”, less than half of the respondents correctly reported that antibiotics are not used in the following conditions: Diarrhea, flu, fever, malaria, measles, and sore throat. Nearly 28% reported taking antibiotics in the last month, out of which 29.3% were without prescription. The majority of participants  )79.7%( identified completing the prescribed antibiotic course as the appropriate time to stop antibiotics. On the other hand, only 24% accurately identified that anyone, regardless of antibiotic use, could be affected. Only 7.6% reported specific campaigns as a source for learning about antibiotic resistance.

Slightly more than half of the participants accurately identified AMR as a global issue, not limited to specific countries. Opinions were divided regarding individual ability to influence AMR. While 28% expressed neither agreement nor disagreement, a combined 42.4% indicated belief in their own potential impact, either strongly or slightly. The “fair” and “good” knowledge scores were present in 41.7% (n= 5307) and 42.6%, respectively. The Data analysis showed that demographic factors influenced the knowledge level, being significantly higher (P≤0.001) in females, the 19-20 age group, urban residents, those with higher education, or those with medical specialties.

Geographical variations in knowledge levels were also evident. Egypt has the highest average knowledge score (68.3) with 55.2% of respondents exhibiting "good" knowledge. On the other hand, Libya demonstrated the lowest average knowledge score (50.9) with only 31.3% of respondents having "good" knowledge.

Conclusion: Our survey across the seven Middle Eastern nations identified a critical gap in AMR awareness. This gap varied regionally, with Egypt showing the highest knowledge and Libya the lowest. While familiar with the term AMR, over half lacked the knowledge of proper antibiotic use, with concerning misuse practices. Furthermore, a significant portion of participants reported using antibiotics recently without a prescription. Worryingly, only a quarter understand that anyone can be affected by AMR, and few learned about it through dedicated campaigns. These findings highlight the urgent need for targeted public awareness campaigns and improved communication with healthcare professionals to combat AMR in the Middle East.

Audience Take Away:

  • The study contributes to the global understanding of AMR awareness, adding valuable insights from the Middle East.
  • The survey identifies specific challenges and opportunities for improving AMR-related communication between healthcare professionals and the public.
  • Policymakers can tailor targeted awareness campaigns based on regional variations and specific gaps identified in the study.
  • Researchers can use this study as a baseline for further investigations into the factors influencing AMR awareness and antibiotic usage in the Middle East and other regions.
  • Highlights the urgent need for targeted public awareness campaigns to bridge the knowledge gap and reduce antibiotic misuse.


Intern doctor at Fayoum university hospital, Fayoum, Egypt.


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