Appropriateness of antibiotic prescribing for acute conjunctivitis: a cross-sectional study at a specialist eye hospital in Ghana, 2021

Paa Kwesi Fynn Hope, Lutgarde Lynen, Baaba Mensah, Faustina Appiah, Edward Mberu Kamau, Jacklyne Ashubwe-Jalemba, Kwame Peprah Boaitey, Lady Asantewah Boamah Adomako, Sevak Alaverdyan, Benedicta L Appiah-Thompson, Eva Kwarteng Amaning, Mathurin Youfegan Baanam

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review

Abstract

Most presentations of conjunctivitis are acute. Studies show that uncomplicated cases resolve within 14 days without medication. However, antibiotic prescription remains standard practice. With antimicrobial resistance becoming a public health concern, we undertook this study to assess antibiotic prescription patterns in managing acute conjunctivitis in an eye hospital in Ghana. We recorded 3708 conjunctivitis cases; 201 were entered as acute conjunctivitis in the electronic medical records (January to December 2021). Of these, 44% were males, 56% were females, 39% were under 5 years, 21% were children and adolescents (5-17 years) and 40% were adults (≥18 years). A total of 111 (55.2%) patients received antibiotics, of which 71.2% were appropriately prescribed. The use of antibiotics was more frequent in children under 17 years compared to adults (p < 0.0001). Of the prescribed antibiotics, 44% belonged to the AWaRe "Access" category (Gentamycin, Tetracycline ointment), while 56% received antibiotics in the "Watch" category (Ciprofloxacin, Tobramycin). Although most of the antibiotic prescribing were appropriate, the preponderance of use of the Watch category warrants stewardship to encompass topical antibiotics. The rational use of topical antibiotics in managing acute conjunctivitis will help prevent antimicrobial resistance, ensure effective health care delivery, and contain costs for patients and the health system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11723
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number18
Number of pages11
ISSN1660-4601
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Gentamicins
  • Ghana
  • Hospitals, Special
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Ointments
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Tetracyclines
  • Tobramycin

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