Compliance to guidelines for the prescribing of antibiotics in acute infections at Namibia’s national referral hospital: a pilot study and the implications

S. Nakwatumbah, D. Kibuule, B. Godman*, V. Haakuria, F. Kalemeera, A. Baker, M. Mubita

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Sub-optimal antibiotic prescribing remains a public health concern in Namibia. The objective was to determine the level and predictors of compliance to guidelines in the prescribing of antibiotics in acute infections at a national referral hospital in Namibia to improve future prescribing. Methods: An analytical cross-sectional survey design. The clinical records of patients receiving care were reviewed. Prescribing practices were assessed using a self- administered questionnaire with reference to Namibia Standard Treatment Guidelines (NSTG). Results: The majority of prescriptions (62%) complied with the NSTGs; however, lower than national targets (95%). Most prescriptions were empiric and prescribers typically made reference to the NSTG (58%). Diagnosed infections were principally respiratory infections (58%) and penicillins were the most used antibiotics. Good concurrence between signs and symptoms with the diagnosis indicated on the prescription - OR=5.2 (95% CI: 1.4, 19.2), a diagnosis of upper respiratory tract (p=0.001), oral-dental OR=0.1(95% CI: 0.03,0.3) and urogenital infections OR=0.3(95% CI: 0.1,0.95) and the prescribing of penicillins (p=0.001) or combination antibiotics and amphenicols were independent predictors of compliance to the NSTGs. The main behaviours associated with antibiotic prescribing were patient influences, clinical state, and access to guidelines. Conclusions: Compliance with NSTGs is suboptimal. Prescribing of combination antibiotics, penicillins and diagnosis of oral dental, genitourinary and ear, nose and throat infections were important predictors for NSTG compliance. There is a need to implement antibiotic indicators and stewardship programmes, and ensure access to NSTGs, to improve future antibiotic prescribing in Namibia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-721
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibiotics
  • Namibia
  • ambulatory care
  • guideline compliance
  • predictors
  • prescribing patterns


Dive into the research topics of 'Compliance to guidelines for the prescribing of antibiotics in acute infections at Namibia’s national referral hospital: a pilot study and the implications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this