The overall aim of this short project is to uncover some of the socio-historical roots of antibiotic use in humans and non-humans outside of the European and American histories that are now well understood. We provide an historical account of the arrival and generalisation of use of antibiotics in three Eastern African countries: Zimbabwe, Malawi and Uganda. Drawing upon historical and ethnographic data, we describe when, how and in what context antibiotics arrived in these countries, providing an account of their early uses – both human and non-human. This project follows antibiotics as commodities, investigating how they were inserted within broader markets and the channels through which they were introduced in the African continent.