Factors Associated With Inappropriate Use of Antibiotics Among Animal Health Professionals in 5 Districts, Rwanda, 2020


Background: Antibiotic resistance (ABR) is a global health security concern. Transmission of ABR from animals to humans occurs either directly from animals to humans or through the food chain and the environment. Misuse of antibiotics is the leading factor in the development of antibiotic resistant pathogens. This study aimed to determine the factors associated with inappropriate use of antibiotics among animal health professionals in Rwanda.
Methods: This cross-sectional study enrolled animal health field professionals from 5 districts randomly selected from each province. Structured questions were used during face-to-face interviews. Inappropriate use of antibiotics was defined as the use of antibiotics (ATB) for any reason other than treatment, non-completion of required courses, and/or use of high dose (overdose) of antibiotics. Data collected included socio-demographic characteristics of respondents, elementary knowledge, and perceptions on veterinary antibiotics and antibiotic resistance. Logistic regression was used to identify the factors independently associated with inappropriate use of antibiotics.
Results: Among 256 respondents, 174 (68%) used ATB inappropriately. Males were 198 (77%) and age ranged from 21 to 56 years old (median of 32 years). Statistical analysis found that factors associated with inappropriate use were being aged 24 years or below (OR=5.05; 95% CI=1.47–17.38; P=0,017); low trust in veterinary antibiotics available in the local market (OR=8.87; 95% CI=4.53–17.35; P=0.01), insufficient knowledge (OR=2.37; CI=1.19–4.71, P=0.02) and inadequate continuous education on use of antibiotics (OR=2.17; 95% CI=1.15–4.12; p=0,01).
Conclusions: This study identified high levels of inappropriate antibiotic use among animal health professionals. There is a need for continuous education among animal health professionals and expanded focus to reflect on the impact of their practice on one health and public health security.

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