Malawi Medical Journal

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Knowledge of antibiotic use and resistance among students of a medical school in Nigeria

Ijeoma Okedo Alex


Antimicrobial resistance presents a growing concern worldwide. Medical students are potential antimicrobial prescribers and stewards following graduation as doctors. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge regarding antibiotic use and resistance among pre-final year and final year medical school students of Ebonyi State University, Nigeria.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among all the 184 pre-final and final year medical students of the College of Medicine at Ebonyi State University, Nigeria. Information was collected in April 2018 using a semi-structured, self-administered questionnaire and data were analysed with Epi-Info Version 7.2. Analytical decisions were considered significant at P < 0.05.
Respondents were mostly males (62.5%), aged 20-29 years (68.9%) with 60.9% of them in the final year class. Eighty-seven percent of them desired more education on antibiotic use and resistance. Majority 119 (64.7%) respondents had good knowledge of antibiotic use and resistance, however, 39% incorrectly answered that bacteria cause common cold. Only 103 (56.0%) of them had positive practice of antibiotic use. While 8.2% of respondents always consulted a doctor before starting an antibiotic. 37.2% of them never discarded their remaining leftover medications. Knowledge was associated with respondent’s gender (P=0.035) while practice was associated with the class of study (P<0.001).

There was good knowledge of antibiotic use and resistance, however, practice levels were poor. There is need to enrich existing courses and training about antibiotic use in the curriculum of the medical schools with more emphasis on antimicrobial stewardship.
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