Antibiotic prescribing practice in management of cough and/or diarrhoea in Moshi Municipality, Northern Tanzania: cross-sectional descriptive study

Pan Afr Med J. 2012;12:103. Epub 2012 Aug 13.

Abstract

Introduction: The increase in resistance of many pathogens to currently available antibiotics has been recognized as life-threatening problem. The development of drug resistance is promoted by irrational prescribing behavior. Inappropriate use of antibiotics is attributed by over-prescription, inadequate dosage and use for non-bacterial infections. The purpose of this study was to assess antibiotic prescribing practices in the management of diarrhoea and cough among children attending hospitals in Moshi municipal, Tanzania.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional descriptive hospital based study, from September 2010 to March 2011. All children presenting with diarrhoea and cough, aged between one month and 5 years attended at the two hospitals were enrolled. Data were collected by a standard questionnaire. Information on the prescribed drugs was obtained from patient files.

Results: A total of 384 children were enrolled. Of these, 326 (84.9%) received antibiotics; common prescribed antibiotics were penicillins, sulphonamides, aminoglycosides and macrolides. Eighty percent of children with acute watery diarrhoea and 68.9% with common cold were given antibiotics inappropriately. Inappropriate antibiotic prescription was significantly associated with prescriber being a clinical officer and assistant medical officer, and child having diarrhoea. Inappropriate antibiotic dosage was significantly occurred when prescriber was clinical officer with reference to medical officer.

Conclusion: This study observed a high antibiotic prescription rate by clinicians and treatment guidelines for management of patients who presented with cough and/or diarrhoea are followed. Continuing professional development programmes for clinicians on prescription would help in reducing irrational prescribing practices.

Keywords: Antibiotics use; antibiotic prescribing; cough; diarrhea; irrational prescribing; pneumonia; under-five.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cough / drug therapy*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diarrhea / drug therapy*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inappropriate Prescribing / statistics & numerical data
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / standards
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tanzania

Substances

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents