A point prevalence survey of antimicrobial utilisation patterns and quality indices amongst hospitals in South Africa; findings and implications

PP Skosana, N Schellack, B Godman, A Kurdi, M Bennie, D Kruger, JC Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Antimicrobial use is growing, driven mainly by rising demands in developing countries. Knowing how antimicrobials are prescribed is important. Consequently, we undertook a point prevalence survey (PPS) quantifying antimicrobial consumption among 18 public sector hospitals across South Africa. Method: A purpose-built web-based application was used to collect PPS data. Results: Out of 4407 adult patients surveyed, 33.6% were treated with an antimicrobial. The most frequently prescribed groups were a combination of penicillins including β-lactamase inhibitors. Amoxicillin combined with an enzyme inhibitor accounted for 21.4% total DDDs. In the medical and surgical wards, Access antimicrobials (54.1%) were mostly used, while in the ICU, Watch antimicrobials (51.5%) were mostly used. Compliance with the South African Standard Treatment Guidelines and Essential Medicines List was 90.2%; however, concerns with extended use of antimicrobials for surgical prophylaxis (73.2% of patients). Conclusion: The web-based PPS tool was easy to use and successful in capturing PPS data since the results were comparable to other PPS studies across Africa. High use of amoxicillin combined with an enzyme inhibitor, possibly because it was among the broad-spectrum antimicrobials in the Access group. The findings will assist with future targets to improve antimicrobial prescribing among public sector hospitals in South Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1353-1366
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Review of Anti-infective Therapy
Issue number10
Early online date2 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2021


  • antimicrobial consumption
  • point prevalent surveys
  • AWaRe list of antimicrobials
  • South Africa, public hospitals
  • quality indicators
  • rational medicine use
  • Standard Treatment Guidelines
  • surgical prophylaxis

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