Analysis of patterns of antibiotic prescribing in public health facilities in Nepal
Introduction: Inappropriate use of antibiotics is recognised as a leading cause of antibiotic resistance. Little is known about antibiotic prescribing practices at public health facilities in low- and middle-income countries. We examined patterns of antibiotic prescribing in public health facilities in Nepal and explored factors influencing these practices.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study of antibiotic prescribing in public health facilities was conducted in the Rupandehi district of Nepal. Six public health facilities were selected based on WHO guidelines, and data were extracted from administrative records for 6,860 patient encounters. Patterns of antibiotic prescribing were investigated using descriptive statistics. Chi-squared tests and logistic regressions were applied to explore factors associated with antibiotic prescribing.
Results: Of patients attending public health facilities, the proportion prescribed at least one antibiotic (44.7%) was approximately twice the WHO recommended value (20.0 to 26.8%). The antibiotic prescribing rate for hospital inpatients (64.6%) was higher than for other facilities, with the prescribing rate also high in primary health care centres (50.4%) and health posts (52.2%). The most frequently (29.9%) prescribed antibiotic classes were third-generation cephalosporins. Females (p = 0.005) and younger (p < 0.001) patients were more likely to be prescribed antibiotics. High prescribing rates of antibiotics for selected diseases appeared contrary to international recommendations.
Conclusion: Antibiotic prescribing in public health facilities was high compared with WHO guidelines, suggesting the need for strategies to reduce misuse of antibiotics. This study provides useful information to assist in formulating policies and guidelines to promote more appropriate use of antibiotics in Nepal.
Copyright (c) 2019 Anant Nepal, Delia Hendrie, Suzanne Robinson, Linda Selvey
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