Background: Antibiotic resistance is growing in low-income countries (LICs). Children in LICs are particularly at risk. Information on antibiotic consumption is needed to control the development and spread of resistant bacteria.
Methods: To measure antibiotic consumption and related factors, a community survey was undertaken in two sites in Madagascar (Antananarivo and Moramanga) and in Senegal (Guediawaye) among children under 2. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with parents or caregivers of eligible children. Regression analysis was used to determine variables associated with reported antibiotic consumption. Availability of health structures and health policies were also investigated.
Results: Population estimates for antibiotic consumption in the last 3 months were 37.2% (95% CI 33.4%-41.2%) in Guediawaye, 29.3% (95% CI 25.0%-34.1%) in Antananarivo and 24.6% (95% CI 20.6%-29.1%) in Moramanga. In all sites, the large majority of antibiotics were taken with a prescription (92.2%, 87.0% and 92.0% for Antananarivo, Moramanga and Guediawaye, respectively) and purchased in pharmacies (89.4%, 73.5% and 78.5%, respectively). Living in houses without flushing toilets and baby age were significantly associated with any antibiotic consumption after adjusting for site. A higher density of public health structures was associated with lower antibiotic consumption levels, while a higher density of private pharmacies was associated with higher levels across sites.
Conclusions: These data are crucial for the implementation of local programmes aimed at optimizing antibiotic consumption. Factors such as density of healthcare facilities, prescriber training and national policy must be taken into account when developing strategies to optimize antibiotic consumption in LICs.
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