Towards a More Rational Use of Antibiotics in Acute Respiratory Infections in Children. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 009 (1990)
(1990; 1 page)


The World Health Organization Programme for the Control of Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) aims to reduce the severity of and mortality from ARI in children. The Programme discourages the indiscriminate use of antibiotics and encourages the development of a non-antibiotics policy for the majority of children with ARI. National programmes have been implemented in Fiji and Vanuatu and the immediate effect on antibiotic use at health facilities has been observed. The ARI programme in Fiji began in 1988. By September of that year, all staff from health centres and nursing stations had participated in clinical workshops that taught the new national guidelines on case management of ARI in children. Data showed that before training, 43% of antibiotics were inappropriately prescribed and after training, 24% of antibiotics were inappropriately prescribed. This significant decrease shows the effectiveness of the training programme. Early programme results from Vanuatu were also promising. The ARI programme in Vanuatu was initiated in June 1988. Before the programme, antibiotics were prescribed for nearly all coughs and colds. As a result of the programme, there was a notable decrease in the prescription of antibiotics for these conditions from 1987 to 1989. (Abstract by Flannery Bowman, 2013)

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