Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
On-line version ISSN 1680-5348
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
MUNOZ, Georgina et al. Ecosystem approach to promoting appropriate antibiotic use for children in indigenous communities in Ecuador. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2011, vol.30, n.6, pp.566-573. ISSN 1680-5348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892011001200012.
OBJECTIVE: To collect baseline data on infectious diseases and antibiotic use in two Andean indigenous communities in Ecuador in order to determine the feasibility and acceptability of applying an ecosystem approach to address associated problems. METHODS: In visits to 65 households with children under age 5 years, environmental risk factors for infectious diseases were evaluated through rapid assessment. Caregivers' knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to antibiotic use were determined through a knowledge, practices, and coverage survey; antibiotic use was gleaned from inspection of medicine chests; and overall health of the 91 children (including nutritional status) was assessed. A workshop was held to share results and to craft a multicomponent intervention using an ecohealth framework. RESULTS: Numerous environmental risk factors were identified, especially related to water and sanitation. Knowledge, attitudes, and practices revealed use of traditional and Western medicines and serious knowledge gaps. Antibiotics were present in 60.9% of households in Correuco and 46.8% in La Posta; malnutrition rates were 22.2% in Correuco and 26.1% in La Posta; diarrheic episodes were experienced in the previous month by 26.7% of children in Correuco and 47.8% in La Posta, with antibiotics prescribed in 50.0% and 47.1% of cases, respectively; and acute respiratory infections were incurred by 28.9% of children in Correuco and 47.8% in La Posta, with antibiotics prescribed in 53.8% and 50.0% of cases, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Environmental, social, and cultural factors must be addressed to prevent antibiotic resistance in addition to training health personnel. An ecosystem approach is well-suited for this goal.
Keywords : Drug resistance, microbial; antibacterial agents; drug prescriptions; indigenous population; child, preschool; intervention studies; Ecuador.