Study of antimicrobial prescribing at a secondary health facility in a semi-urban community in Bayelsa State, south-south Nigeria
Background: Monitoring antimicrobial prescribing helps generate data to inform local policies on antimicrobial use and guides estimations for their stocking.
Objectives: To assess utilization of antimicrobial agents, diagnosis and management of infections as well as associated drug therapy problems (DTPs) at a secondary health facility in Bayelsa State.
Materials and Methods: In a retrospective study, case notes belonging to 1,278 patients who attended clinics at the study center from January 1st to December 31st, 2016 and who were prescribed at least an antimicrobial agent each for the treatment of infection were evaluated. Of these, 320 were retained for study having met completeness of prescription items. Data obtained were expressed in simple percentages while average values were presented in mean ± standard deviation (SD).
Results: Two hundred and ninety-seven (92.8%) of the retained case notes were actually diagnosed with infections. In all, 24.8% of the 467 cases of infections treated were confirmed with requisite laboratory tests with 43.5, 19.9, and 13.1% of all being malaria, typhoid fever, and respiratory tract infections, respectively amongst others. Antibacterial (46.6%), antimalarial (35.5%), and anthelmintic (9.6%) agents were the most prescribed antimicrobial drugs. Respective average numbers of infections treated and antimicrobials prescribed per encounter were 1.47 ± 0.71 and 2.19 ± 0.97, and each prescription contained an average of 0.89 ± 0.86 DTP.
Conclusion: Most of the antimicrobial prescribing were done without requisite diagnostic tests and each of the prescriptions contained at least a DTP necessitating a need for the education of the prescribers on rational use of antimicrobials.
Keywords: Antimicrobial agents, communicable diseases, Niger Delta Area