Antibiotic prescribing in paediatric inpatients in Ghana: a multi-centre point prevalence survey

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BACKGROUND: Excessive and inappropriate use of antibiotics in hospitalised patients contributes to the development and spread of antibiotic resistance. Implementing a stewardship programme to curb the problem requires information on antibiotic use. This study describes a multicentre point prevalence of antibiotic use among paediatric inpatients in Ghana.

METHODS: Data were extracted from a multicentre point prevalence survey of hospital acquired infections in Ghana. Data were collected between September 2016 and December 2016 from ten hospitals through inpatient folder and chart reviews using European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) adapted data collection instrument. From each site, data were collected within a 12-h period (8 am to 8 pm) by a primary team of research investigators and a select group of health professionals from each participating hospital.

RESULTS: Among 716 paediatric inpatients, 506 (70.6%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 67.2 to 74.0%) were on antibiotics. A significant proportion of antibiotics (82.9%) was prescribed for infants compared to neonates (63.9%) and adolescents (60.0%). The majority of patients (n = 251, 49.6%) were prescribed two antibiotics at the time of the survey. The top five classes of antibiotics prescribed were third generation cephalosporins (n = 154, 18.5%) aminoglycosides (n = 149, 17.9%), second generation cephalosporins (n = 103,12.4%), beta lactam resistant penicillins (n = 83, 10.0%) and nitroimidazoles (n = 82, 9.9%). The majority of antibiotics (n = 508, 61.0%) were prescribed for community acquired infections. The top three agents for managing community acquired infections were ceftriaxone (n = 97, 19.1%), gentamicin (n = 85, 16.7%) and cefuroxime (n = 73, 14.4%).

CONCLUSION: This study points to high use of antibiotics among paediatric inpatients in Ghana. Cephalosporin use may offer an important target for reduction through antibiotic stewardship programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number391
JournalBMC Pediatrics
Issue number1
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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