High antibiotic exposure among children in low- and middle-income countries
Appropriate antibiotic treatment for children with infections prevents mortality and severe illness. On the other hand, antibiotics increase the risk of allergic, inflammatory and metabolic disorders and widespread antibiotic use has contributed to rising antimicrobial resistance.
Few estimates of total antibiotic exposure among children in low- and-middle-income countries (LMICs) are available.
The goal of the study of Gillian A. Levine and Julia A. Bielicki was to estimate the total number of antibiotic treatments among children in LMICs in the first five years of life. They aimed to describe antibiotic treatment patterns by age, illness, and country. Moreover, they characterized antibiotic use practices in medical care settings and due to self-medication. To estimate the average number of antibiotic treatments children received in the first five years of life in 45 LMICs (countries from Africa, Asia, Central America, Caribbean), the researchers analyzed Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data.
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