China is notorious for its overuse of antibiotics. There still doesn't seem to be a real awareness that viruses (say, a cold) cannot be cured by a dose of antibiotics, IV preferred. Some doctors say they give antibiotics because the patient will not feel they have received good treatment unless they are given some medicine. Even if the doctor doesn't prescribe antibiotics, it's really no problem; you can buy them at any pharamacy, no prescription needed.
This often works in our favor, since we can just get the medicines we need even when the doctor prescribes something harmful or not useful. It also works in our favor because often doctors don't prescribe enough antibiotics. For example, I realized today that the doctor only gave Juliana three days worth of the antibiotics she's supposed to take. I emailed International SOS (our very handy medical referral team) to ask if she should take more, and they said the typical course of antibiotics for bronchitis is 5-6 days.
So today Kevin had to go out and buy some more medicine. Juliana will be happy; she likes taking medicine. In fact she likes it so much (first the cough syrup and now the antibiotic) that she learned to say medicine. She points up to the table where it is stored and says, “Med-cine? Med-cine?” Tonight she was so excited about it that Kevin gave her a little extra water in her dropper so she could pretend it was medicine. We're going to have to keep an eye on this one.