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Quantifying antimicrobial access and usage for paediatric diarrhoeal disease in an urban community setting in Asia.

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Thi Quynh Nhi, Le 
de Alwis, Ruklanthi 
Khanh Lam, Phung 
Nhon Hoa, Nguyen 
Minh Nhan, Nguyen 


OBJECTIVES: Antimicrobial-resistant infections are a major global health issue. Ease of antimicrobial access in developing countries is proposed to be a key driver of the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) epidemic despite a lack of community antimicrobial usage data. METHODS: Using a mixed-methods approach (geospatial mapping, simulated clients, healthcare utilization, longitudinal cohort) we assessed antimicrobial access in the community and quantified antimicrobial usage for childhood diarrhoea in an urban Vietnamese setting. RESULTS: The study area had a pharmacy density of 15.7 pharmacies/km2 (a pharmacy for every 1316 people). Using a simulated client method at pharmacies within the area, we found that 8% (3/37) and 22% (8/37) of outlets sold antimicrobials for paediatric watery and mucoid diarrhoea, respectively. However, despite ease of pharmacy access, the majority of caregivers would choose to take their child to a healthcare facility, with 81% (319/396) and 88% (347/396) of responders selecting a specialized hospital as one of their top three preferences when seeking treatment for watery and mucoid diarrhoea, respectively. We calculated that at least 19% (2688/14427) of diarrhoea episodes in those aged 1 to <5 years would receive an antimicrobial annually; however, antimicrobial usage was almost 10 times greater in hospitals than in the community. CONCLUSIONS: Our data question the impact of community antimicrobial usage on AMR and highlight the need for better education and guidelines for all professionals with the authority to prescribe antimicrobials.



Anti-Bacterial Agents, Child, Preschool, Diarrhea, Drug Utilization, Female, Health Services Accessibility, Humans, Infant, Male, Urban Population, Vietnam

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J Antimicrob Chemother

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Oxford University Press (OUP)