A new study by the Ghana Young Academy (GhYA), in collaboration with Africa Hall, KNUST and West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), has revealed the alarming usage of anti-biotics by females in the senior high school.
The research, which set out to investigate the knowledge and pattern of use of anti-biotics among female SHS students for the management of vaginal infections, showed that over a quarter of respondents (27.7 per cent of the sample size) used anti-biotics monthly with only 37.20 per cent of respondents being able to list the anti-biotics they have used.
The study, which had 328 female students from 12 SHSs in the Northern, Ashanti and Greater Accra Regions aged between 14 to 21 years responding to questionnaires, revealed that the most common condition for anti-biotics use among the sample size was colds, flu and cough.
Vaginal infections were the third most common condition treated after diarrhoea.
The questionnaire further probed their knowledge about examples of drugs that could be referred to as anti-biotics, how often they used anti-biotics, the common conditions treated with these anti-biotics, knowledge about how anti-biotic resistance develops and self medication.
It again revealed that of the listed anti-biotics, amoxicillin and amoxicillin-clavulanic acid combination were most used anti-biotics, with penicillin being the least used.
However, most respondents (47.87 per cent) said they used anti-biotics on the recommendation of health workers but significant percentage (32.62 per cent) took their recommendations from parents who were not necessarily health workers.
Close to half of the respondents were unaware that failure to complete a dose of anti-biotics can lead to anti-biotic resistance while 61 per cent of the students agreed that unused anti-biotics should not be passed on but should be properly disposed, 8.84 per cent were undecided and 8.54 per cent disagreed.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri