Volume 4 ; Issue 1 ; in Month : Jan-June (2020) Article No : 138
Kalonga J, Hangoma J, Banda M, et al.

Abstract
The use of antimicrobial agents has become a routine practice for the treatment of paediatric illnesses. The uncontrolled use of antibiotics has caused a rise in antimicrobial resistance. This study aimed to assess the antibiotic prescribing patterns in paediatric patients at Levy Mwanawasa University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia. This was a cross-sectional study conducted between April 2019 to July 2019. The study population included both in-patients and out-patients aged between one month and eighteen years whose medical files were reviewed. A sample size of 357 medical files was conveniently sampled. Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 21.0 was used for data analysis. A chi-square test was used to assess the association between categorical variables. A p<0.05 was considered to be statistically significant at 95% confidence level. The majority of the medical files 230 (64.4%) were for paediatrics in the age group of 1 month to 5 years. Antibiotic prescribing was found to be 78.7%. The study revealed that 119 (33.3%) of patients required antibiotics and were on antibiotic treatment while 46 (12.9%) did not require antibiotics but were on antibiotic treatment. The most common diseases 147 (41.2%) were those affecting the respiratory system. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics were penicillins 154 (54.8%), followed by cephalosporins 88 (31.3%). The association between age, white blood cell count status, and system of illness with antibiotic use were statistically significant (χ2=15.083, p=0.001; χ2= 6.571, p=0.037 and χ2=27.717, p<0.0001). The study also found that the frequency of antibiotic use was high among paediatric patients as per the World Health Organization's prescribing indicators. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics to paediatric patients were penicillins.

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