Background: The incidence of antimicrobial resistance has been increasing worldwide in the past decades, which includes resistance to bacteria that cause common childhood illnesses, such as acute respiratory infections and diarrhea. Numerous children with those common illnesses are treated with antibiotics. However, in such cases, antibiotic treatment is not required. Community-based studies focusing on antibiotic use among children are still limited. This study aimed to identify the prevalence of antibiotic use for common childhood illnesses and to investigate factors associated with antibiotic use in children under 5 years old as well as female caregivers in a rural community in Indonesia. Methods: A cross-sectional study of 334 children in three villages of Banten Province, located in the western part of Java Island, was conducted in May 2018. Female caregivers who were responsible for providing medications to children were interviewed. We obtained information such as demographic data, any common clinical illness within the last 30 days, and antibiotic usage during an episode of illness. We excluded children with underlying disease that require a regular follow-up and children who were hospitalized in the last 30 days in the analysis. Antibiotic use answered by female caregivers was verified by checking its package or showing photos of various antibiotics to the female caregivers. Crushed antibiotics were confirmed with health professionals. Results: A total of 203 children had clinical symptoms, and the most common symptom was fever and respiratory symptoms. In total, 49.3% received antibiotics, and 66% of them were prescribed by private health professionals. Only two children received antibiotics without a prescription. The most common antibiotic used among children was amoxicillin. Conclusions: The high prevalence of antibiotic use was observed in children under 5 years of age, and the major source to obtain antibiotics was to consult health professionals. Training on appropriate antibiotic use must be conducted for health professionals in not only public but also private sectors.
- Acute respiratory infection
- Antimicrobial resistance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases