Influencing international policy around antibiotic prescription and use

Dr Emily Rousham - Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences
Health and Wellbeing

Our ability to treat and manage common infectious diseases relies heavily on antibiotics. However, their overuse in healthcare and farming is causing antibiotic resistance. Drug-resistant infections are now a major global public health concern.

Emily Rousham is leading international projects on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Bangladesh, employing a One Health approach.

Her research examines whether antibiotic resistance is transmitted to humans from animals or from the environment, and what drives the sale and use of antibiotics - with a focus on the range of informal and unqualified healthcare providers and over-the-counter sale of antibiotics.

The findings of both projects have influenced international policy and planning.

In December 2017, Dr Rousham was appointed as a Technical Adviser to the UK Government Science and Innovation Network.

In April 2018, she was invited by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to speak at the International Forum on Antimicrobial Resistance. Stakeholders at the event included the World Health Organisation (WHO), Food and Agricultural Organisation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UK Food Standards Agency, DEFRA, and Wellcome Trust.

Dr Rousham’s work has also informed a technical white paper Initiatives for Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment: Current Situation and Challenges, and has contributed to the Houses of Parliament Research Briefing on Reservoirs of Antimicrobial Resistance.

With new funding from the WHO, she is currently developing intervention materials around appropriate sale and use of antibiotics in Bangladesh in partnership with government stakeholders.