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

6 July, 2019

I was encouraged to see a high awareness of antimicrobial resistance among pre-final and final year medical students of the College of Medicine at Ebonyi State University, Nigeria. However, it was surprising to read '39% incorrectly answered that bacteria cause common cold'. The full text confirms: 'Seventy-two (39.1%) of the students did not know that common cold and influenza were not due to bacterial causes.'

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

Ijeoma Okedo Alex

Malawi Medical Journal > Vol 31, No 2 (2019) >

https://www.ajol.info/index.php/mmj/article/view/187715

ABSTRACT

Background: 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.

Methods: 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.

Results: 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).

Conclusion: 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.

Seventy-two (39.1%) of the students did not know that common cold and influenza were not due to bacterial causes.

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Best wishes, Neil

Joint Coordinator HIFA Project on Information for Prescribers and Users of Medicines

http://www.hifa.org/projects/prescribers-and-users-medicines

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org