Respiratory tract infections are known to have the highest incidence and mortality rates especially among children in developing countries. Antibiotic use is common in respiratory tract infections (RTI); however, increased rates of antibiotic resistance development have prompted studies on prescribing patterns and recommendations for appropriate antibiotic use. This study aims at monitoring prescription patterns of antibiotics for respiratory tract infection in children and establishing a relationship between child ageing and respiratory disease occurrence at Ridge Hospital and Adabraka Polyclinic in Accra, Ghana. The study involved patients age five years and below with RTI cases presented at the two health facilities from January, 2014 to February, 2016. Data was obtained from patient medical folders. Antibiotic treatment for every respiratory diagnosis was compared to recommendations for each diagnosis. Appropriateness of antibiotic prescription was also assessed using a standard criterion. To identify the relationship between ageing in children and respiratory disease incidences, cases were grouped by their ages and the number of cases presented for each age group was counted. Results revealed that, 70.37% of cases from the childrens’ ward of Ridge Hospital with specific diagnoses had antibiotics prescribed appropriately, whilst 29.63% of cases had antibiotics prescribed inappropriately. Also, 34.62% of cases with specific diagnoses from the out-patient department (OPD) of Adabraka Polyclinic resulted in appropriate antibiotic prescription whilst 65.38% had antibiotics prescribed inappropriately. The results obtained indicated an overall decrease in the incidence of RTIs as children aged.
Key words: Prescribing patterns, antibiotic resistance, respiratory tract infections, antibiotics.