Antifungal resistance and stewardship: a knowledge, attitudes and practices survey among pharmacy students at the University of Zambia; findings and implications

Steward Mudenda*, Scott Kaba Matafwali, Moses Mukosha, Victor Daka, Billy Chabalenge, Joseph Chizimu, Kaunda Yamba, Webrod Mufwambi, Patrick Banda, Patience Chisha, Florence Mulenga, McLawrence Phiri, Ruth Lindizyani Mfune, Maisa Kasanga, Massimo Sartelli, Zikria Saleem, Brian Godman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: Antifungal resistance (AFR) is a growing global public health concern. Little is currently known about knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding AFR and antifungal stewardship (AFS) in Zambia, and across the globe. To address this evidence gap, we conducted a study through a questionnaire design starting with pharmacy students as they include the next generation of healthcare professionals. Methods: A cross-sectional study among 412 pharmacy students from June 2023 to July 2023 using a structured questionnaire. Multivariable analysis was used to determine key factors of influence. Results: Of the 412 participants, 55.8% were female, with 81.6% aged between 18 and 25 years. Most students had good knowledge (85.9%) and positive attitudes (86.7%) but sub-optimal practices (65.8%) towards AFR and AFS. Overall, 30.2% of students accessed antifungals without a prescription. Male students were less likely to report a good knowledge of AFR (adjusted OR, AOR = 0.55, 95% CI: 0.31–0.98). Similarly, students residing in urban areas were less likely to report a positive attitude (AOR = 0.35, 95% CI: 0.13–0.91). Fourth-year students were also less likely to report good practices compared with second-year students (AOR = 0.48, 95% CI: 0.27–0.85). Conclusions: Good knowledge and positive attitudes must translate into good practices toward AFR and AFS going forward. Consequently, there is a need to provide educational interventions where students have low scores regarding AFR and AFS. In addition, there is a need to implement strategies to reduce inappropriate dispensing of antifungals, especially without a prescription, to reduce AFR in Zambia.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdlad141
JournalJAC-Antimicrobial Resistance
Volume5
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023

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