A New Study on Antimicrobial Use Reveals Sex-Based Differences and More in Uganda

February 7, 2022

The spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is becoming an increasingly urgent threat, with the highest rate of AMR-related deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa. A new paper, published in MDPI Antibiotics’ special issue on Antimicrobial Prescribing and Stewardship, attempts to bridge a critical gap in data on the use and consumption of antibiotics in Uganda. Surveillance data can guide effective antimicrobial stewardship interventions in combating AMR in the country.

Key Findings

The study, conducted by technical experts from USAID MTaPS, University of Washington, Makerere University, Department of Pharmaceuticals and Natural Medicines at Uganda Ministry of Health, and Overseas Strategic Consulting, revealed key findings in Uganda that not only accentuates but will inform stewardship interventions in the country:

  • High use of antibiotics across all health facilities, with 74% of patients on one or more antibiotics
  • Low compliance to Uganda’s Clinical Guidelines (30.1%), relatively high use of WHO Watch class antibiotics (44%) and very high use of parenteral antibiotics (88%)
  • 15% greater odds of antibiotic use among male patients and a nearly two-fold increase in antibiotic use at public health facilities than private, not-for-profit hospitals

In a first, the paper assesses sex-disaggregated differences in antibiotic use among males and females using the WHO Point Prevalence Survey methodology, which can inform more targeted stewardship interventions.

The study responds to the Uganda National Action Plan on AMR (2018–2023), which includes a strategic objective on surveillance of antibiotic use and consumption. It also contributes to the WHO Benchmark for International Health Regulations Capacities recommending countries to monitor antimicrobial use for more responsive stewardship activities at health facilities in our fight against AMR.

The study, undertaken by MTaPS as part of its Global Health Security Agenda work in 13 countries, underpins Uganda’s efforts to improve quality of health care, move toward universal health coverage, and fight AMR.

Link to paper: Point Prevalence Survey of Antibiotic Use across 13 Hospitals in Uganda, MDPI Antibiotics Journal Special Issue on Antimicrobial Prescribing and Stewardship

Countries: Uganda
Type: Updates