Widespread availability of antibiotics has led to remarkably low use of health services in Azerbaijan, despite that a study reported symptoms of infectious diseases that would merit health center visits. This lack of use of health care services has possibly contributed to the development of antibiotic resistance in the Azerbaijani population.

Almost 20 percent of people in the study reported self-medicating with antibiotics. Only 1.3 percent of respondents reported seeing a health care provider for an infection, and less than four percent missed work or stayed in bed during the day in the last five years. In contrast, 338 illness episodes were reported in a five year period. Flu-like illness was the most prevalent infectious syndrome reported (33 percent).

1. Clark DV, Ismayilov A, Bakhishova S. Under-utilization of health care services for infectious diseases syndromes in rural Azerbaijan: A cross-sectional study. BMC Health Services Research 2011; 11: 32. (open access)