Antibiotic use in acute respiratory infections in under-fives in Uganda: findings and implications

Dan Kibuule*, Harriet Rachel Kagoya, Brian Godman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Self-medication with antibiotics among households is common in Uganda. However, there are limited studies evaluating self-purchasing of antibiotics for acute respiratory infections (ARI) in the under-fives. Consequently, the objective of this study was to evaluate patterns of household self-medication with antibiotics in ARI among under-fives in Kampala. Methods: Descriptive cross-sectional observational design. Care takers at households were selected from five divisions of Kampala using the WHO 30-cluster method and interviewed using a standardized questionnaire in June - July 2011. Results: Out of the 200 households, most ARI cases 107 (53.5%; p = 0.322) were inappropriately managed. The prevalence of antibiotic use in ARI was 43% (p < 0.001). Amoxicillin (31.4%) and cotrimoxazole (30%) were the most self-medicated antibiotics. Antibiotics use was associated with pneumonia symptoms and access to antibiotics. Conclusions: Household use of antibiotics in ARIs among under-fives is suboptimal. There is an urgent need for guidelines on awareness to reduce self-medication of ARIs in Uganda.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)863-872
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute respiratory infections (ARI)
  • Uganda
  • antibiotics
  • households
  • self-medication
  • under-fives


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