Overprescription of antibiotics is high in sub-Saharan Africa, due partly to perverse financial incentives for prescribers and partly to ready availability associated with self-medication. Another important factor is the availability of robust clinical guidelines. This new paper in WHO Bulletin concludes that African countries 'lack antimicrobial treatment guidelines that meet internationally accepted methods'. Citation and abstract below.
CITATION: Comparison of national antimicrobial treatment guidelines, African Union
Jessica Craig et al.
Bull World Health Organ. 2022 Jan 1; 100(1): 50–59.
Published online 2021 Nov 26. doi: 10.2471/BLT.21.286689
Objective: To identify and compare antimicrobial treatment guidelines from African Union (AU) Member States.
Methods: We reviewed national government agency and public health institutes’ websites and communicated with country or regional focal points to identify existing treatment guidelines from AU Member States...
Findings: We identified 31 treatment guidelines from 20 of the 55 (36%) AU Member States; several countries had more than one treatment guideline that met our inclusion criteria. Fifteen (48%) guidelines from 10 countries have been published or updated since 2015. Methods used to develop the guidelines were not well described. No guidelines were developed according to the GRADE approach. Antimicrobial selection, dosage and duration of recommended therapies varied widely across guidelines for all infections and syndromes.
Conclusion: AU Member States lack antimicrobial treatment guidelines that meet internationally accepted methods and that draw from local evidence about disease burden and antimicrobial susceptibility.