Veterinarians’ Perception, Knowledge and Practices of Antibiotic Stewardship in Enugu State Southeast, Nigeria
A cross-sectional survey utilizing structured questionnaires was used to study the veterinarians’ perception, knowledge and practices of antibiotic stewardship (ABS) in Enugu State, Southeastern Nigeria. Data obtained were analyzed using chi-square on SPSS (Version 15.0) at a significance level of P < 0.05 to determine possible associations between variables and perceptions/knowledge about ABS. Out of 280 respondents, 41 (17.1%) had heard about ABS. Minority of the respondents perceived/knew that using antibiotics only when necessary (6.4%, 18), administering antibiotics at the appropriate dose (6.4%, 18) and administering antibiotics for appropriate duration in every case (4.3%, 12) were among the principles of ABS. The study also showed that age, gender, qualification, years of practice and locations did not exert any influence (P > 0.05) on the awareness of respondents about ABS. More than one-third of the respondents wrongly perceived that increasing the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics (35.4%, 99) is one of the goals of ABS, whereas the minority of the respondents rightly perceived/knew that minimizing toxicity and other adverse effects (16.8%, 47) and reducing antibiotic resistance (ABR) (43.2%, 121) are also goals of ABS. Only 21.4% (60) had overall knowledge of ABS. Prescribing antibiotics without seeing/examining the patient, prescribing antibiotics for any case suspected to be infectious, prescribing broad-spectrum antibiotics despite availability of narrow-spectrum antibiotics, prescribing different classes/types of antibiotics concurrently to ensure therapeutic efficacy, prescribing overdose of antibiotics to ensure efficacy and non-consultation of the veterinary formulary/other resources when in doubt during prescription, are some of inappropriate/untoward ABS practices/behaviors/attitudes amongst the respondents. No significant association (P > 0.05) was found between practices of ABS and age, gender, qualification, years of practice and location. In conclusion, the veterinarians’ awareness/perception and practices of ABS is abysmally poor in the study area, thus education of Nigerian veterinarians about ABS and the teaching of the principles and practices of ABS during veterinary schools are recommended.
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