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Prevalence and Factors Associated with Parents Self-Medicating Under-Fives with Antibiotics in Bagamoyo District Council, Tanzania: a Cross-Sectional Study

Authors Simon B, Kazaura M

Received 19 May 2020

Accepted for publication 25 July 2020

Published 19 August 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 1445—1453


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Beatus Simon,1 Method Kazaura2

1Ifakara Health Institute, Bagamoyo, Tanzania; 2Department of Epidemiology/Biostatistics, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Correspondence: Method Kazaura
Department of Epidemiology/Biostatistics, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, PO Box 65015, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Tel +255-784-767717

Background: Self-medication with antibiotics (SMA) is a global problem. This extends to medication of under-fives by their parents. In particular, there is currently insufficient information for this problem.
Purpose: To determine the proportion and factors associated with medication of under-fives with antibiotics by their parents.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study among parents/caregivers of under-fives in 30 hamlets/streets of Bagamoyo District Council, in Tanzania was conducted between July and August, 2019. Respondents were the under-fives’ parents/caregivers aged at least 18 years selected from households using probability proportional to a size cluster-sampling method. Respondents were required to report whether or not the under-fives had been unwell within the past 12 months and to describe the type or specific name of any medicine administered to their child. We used descriptive and analytical procedures to analyze the data.
Results: The study included 730 parents/caregivers of under-fives. Their mean age was 32.2 (SD=7.4) years. The majority 668 (91.5%) were biological mothers and 574 (78.6%) having completed primary education. The proportion of parental SMA to under-fives was 47.7% (95% CI=43.7, 51.8). Knowledge on the appropriate use of antibiotics among parents was low. The most commonly used antibiotic was amoxicillin, 181 (62.0%). Independent factors associated with parental SMA to under-fives were average household income, distance to the nearest health facility, knowledge about use of antibiotics and the parent/caregiver’s awareness of prescription-only medicines (POMs).
Conclusion: Since the prevalence of SMA by parents to under-fives in Bagamoyo District is high, there is a need for health systems to enhance those measures that would control the sale of antibiotics without prescriptions. In addition, more than half of all study participants have a minimal understanding of the use of antibiotics and are unaware of POMs. Findings indicate a need to have routine continuous health education at the community level about the use of antibiotics.

Keywords: antibiotics, parent, self-medication, under-fives, Tanzania

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