Prevalence of Antibiotic Prescription in Primary Healthcare Settings in the Municipality of Prishtina, Kosovo

Valon Krasniqi, Elton Bahtiri, Flaka Pasha, Vjollca Zeqiri, Sami Uka, Peter Zarb, Lul Raka, Hasime Qorraj Bytyqi, Blana Krasniqi

For citation: Krasniqi V, Bahtiri E, Pasha F, Zeqiri V, Uka S, Zarb P, Raka L, Bytyqi HQ, Krasniqi B. Prevalence of Antibiotic Prescription in Primary Healthcare Settings in the Municipality of Prishtina, Kosovo. International Journal of Biomedicine. 2024;14(1):134-140. doi:10.21103/Article14(1)_OA21
Originally published March 1, 2024


Background: Antibiotics remain among the most prescribed drugs in primary healthcare, contributing to increased antibiotic resistance in the community and prevailing as an emerging global health concern. We aimed to quantify the prevalence and quality of antibiotic prescription in primary healthcare settings in the Municipality of Prishtina to identify targets for quality improvement.
Methods and Results: This study represents a population-based, retrospective cohort, including data from eight randomly selected family medical centers in the Municipality of Prishtina. Each 150th patient on medical records was assessed for demographic data, diagnosis (ICD-10), antibiotic prescription, antibiotic class, and antibiotic form. In total, the study included 1614 cases reviewed. The antibiotic prescription rate was 16%. The health condition for which most of the cases received antibiotics was J18 - Pneumonia, unspecified organism (67%), followed by J03 - Acute tonsillitis (54%), J42 - Unspecified chronic bronchitis (46%), and N39 - Other disorders of the urinary system (43%) Broad-spectrum antibiotics, such as co-amoxiclav (17.7%), amoxicillin (16.5%), and ceftriaxone (12.6%), featured among the most routinely prescribed antibiotics. The antibiotic prescription rate was the highest for cases in the 3-5 age group, of whom 27% received an antibiotic prescription. In 73% of cases, oral antibiotics were prescribed, 69% of which belong to the WHO AWaRe (Access, Watch, Reserve) essential medicines list. Only 18% of antibiotics were prescribed with their generic names.
Conclusion: The prevalence of antibiotic prescription in primary healthcare settings in Prishtina is moderately low. These data cannot be extrapolated to other municipalities in Kosovo or other countries due to different organizational levels. High antibiotic prescription rates for young age groups, prescription of broad-spectrum antibiotics, and high rates of parenteral antibiotics were identified as targets for quality improvement.

antibiotic prescription • primary healthcare • antibiotic resistance • Kosovo
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Received December 13, 2023.
Accepted January 27, 2024.
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