Journal article Open Access
Melaku Tileku Tamiru*, Minyahil Alebachew Woldu*
Background: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi. In recent years, since the rate at which resistance occurs has outpaced the development of new drug replacements, it has become necessary to use the currently available agents, optimally and appropriately. Apart from that assessing the awareness of health professionals in the issue and providing appropriate trainings on how to use the available antibiotics is a wise approach that could help us to challenge the challenges of AMR. Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the medical staff awareness towards the most common resistant bacteria species, the factors contributing to the lack of awareness, and the possible measures to address the awareness gap. Method: A structured questionnaire was administered to 205 health care professionals including physicians, pharmacists and nurses at Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospitals, Addis Ababa-Ethiopia. Results: The study identified that most of the responding physicians and pharmacists considered Pseudomonas aeruginosa and methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as the most frequently encountered resistant bacterial species. However, nurses recognized both MRSA and Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase producing bacilii as the most prevalent resistant species. Physicians and nurses reported prolonged hospitalization as a factor likely to contribute to the increased incidence of bacterial resistance. About 58% of pharmacists indicated that the use of antibiotics without prescription as a significant reason for the development of bacterial resistance. Most of physicians reported that appropriate infection control is the most important measure to reduce bacterial resistance. Pharmacists (58.1%) recognized better adherence to the infection control guidelines as the most important factor that could reduce the risk of bacterial resistance. Conclusion: The findings of this study revealed that there was good awareness to the most common AMR etiologies and their risk factors among the different discipline health professionals. Even though there was a varying level of awareness among the health care professionals. Continuous medical education programs would be desirable to keep the health care professionals updated and diminish the future risk of excessive bacterial resistance.