Antimicrobial stewardship capacity and antibiotic utilisation practices in the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, Ghana: a point prevalence survey study

Elizabeth Agyare, Joseph Elikem Efui Acolatse, Mavis Puopelle Dakorah, George Akafity, Victoria J. Chalker, Owen B. Spiller, Kristan Alexander Schneider, Saviour Yevutsey, Nana Benyin Aidoo, Sophia Blankson, Frederick Mensah-Acheampong, Robert Incoom, Amanj Kurdi, Brian Godman, Eric Kofi Ngyedu

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Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global threat that necessitates coordinated strategies to improve antibiotic prescribing and reduce AMR. A key activity is ascertaining current prescribing patterns in hospitals to identify targets for quality improvement programmes.

The World Health Organisation point prevalence survey methodology was used to assess antibiotic prescribing in the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital. All core variables identified by the methodology were recorded.

A total of 78.8% (82/104) patients were prescribed at least one antibiotic, with the majority from adult surgical wards (52.14%). Significantly longer hospital stays were associated with patients who underwent surgery (p = 0.0423). “Access” antibiotics dominated total prescriptions (63.8%, 132/207) with ceftriaxone, cefuroxime, and ciprofloxacin being the most prescribed “Watch” antibiotics. The most common indications were for medical prophylaxis (59.8%, 49/82) and surgical prophylaxis (46.3%, 38/82). Over one-third of surgical prophylaxis (34.2%, 13/38) indications extended beyond one day. There was moderate documentation of reasons for antibiotic treatment in patient notes (65.9%, 54/82), and targeted therapy after samples were taken for antimicrobial susceptibility testing (41.7%, 10/24). Guideline compliance was low (25%) where available.

There was high use of antibiotics within the hospital which needs addressing. Identified quality targets include developing surgical prophylaxis guidelines, reviewing “Watch” antibiotic prescribing, and assessing antibiotic durations for patients on two or more antibiotics. Organizational-level deficiencies were also identified that need addressing to help instigate ASPs. These can be addressed by developing local prescribing protocols and antibiotic stewardship policies in this hospital and wider in Ghana and across Africa.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0297626
Number of pages19
JournalPLOS One
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2024


  • antimicrobial resistance
  • prescribing patterns
  • Ghana
  • prescribing protocols
  • antibiotic stewardship


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