The Irrational Use of Antibiotics Among Doctors, Pharmacists and the Public in River Nile State, Sudan


Background: Inappropriate antibiotic prescription, dispensing and self-medication are alarmingly high worldwide. The problem is more so in developing countries, including Sudan, where resistance to life-saving drugs is emerging.

Objective: to assess the prevalence of irrational use of antibiotics among doctors, pharmacists and the public in River Nile State (RNS), Sudan.

Methodology: a descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted, in March 2014 through April 2014. The study population was 278 individuals, composed of 100 doctors, 78 pharmacists selected randomly from hospitals, pharmacies and health centers, besides 100 adults from the community. Three different interviewer-administered standardized pre-tested questionnaires were used for data collection.

Results:antibiotic misuse is common practice among both medicals as well as the public in RNS. This was evidenced by the facts that 92% of doctors prescribed antibiotics without culture and sensitivity results, more than 93% of pharmacists dispensed antibiotics as over the counter medications and that 89% of participants used antibiotics without consulting a doctor. More than 90% of the misused antibiotics werebeta-lactams and macrolides and the most common indication for their use was cough and common cold.

Conclusion: Irrational use of antibiotics is a widespread practice in RNS among all stakeholders. Therefore, health care policy makers and care providers should have antibiotic policy and clear to follow obligatory guidelines and to ensure that the public and every prescriber/dispenser conforms to that policy. Moreover, increasing awareness about the appropriate antibiotic use among all stakeholders is of paramount importance.