Improving rational antibiotic treatment of common childhood conditions in Uganda

Irrational and inappropriate use of antibiotics for common childhood infections is widespread across healthcare settings, and evidence suggests that this trend is even more pronounced in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Numerous quality improvement (QI) strategies have been used to improve antibiotic prescribing practices for common childhood infections.

In Uganda, ASSIST initiated a QI intervention to identify gaps in the integrated management of neonatal and childhood illness (IMNCI) and instituted changes to improve care. As a first step to improving care, a cross-sectional, mixed methods study was conducted to assess the quality of IMNCI services.

This study, published in AMR Control, examined antibiotic prescription practices for common childhood conditions (RTIs, malaria and diarrhea) at outpatient settings and implemented and routinely monitored an intervention to rationalize antibiotic use as an integral part of the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) improvement intervention in Northern Uganda.

Within one year, the improvement intervention increased first-line antibiotic use for pediatric pneumonia to 97% and reduced unjustified antibiotic prescription for cough or cold, malaria and diarrhea by 77%, 34%, and 38%, respectively.

Read the full article on AMR Control to learn more.

Report Author(s): 
Tamar Chitashvili, Ekaterine Cherkezishvili, Esther Karamagi, and Nicholas Mwanja
ASSIST publication: 
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