UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering


Encouraging better use of antibiotics in Nigeria

A mobile app is helping Nigerian doctors make the best prescription decisions.

Patty Kostkova and colleague at Lagos University

23 July 2019

Misuse and overuse of antibiotics contribute to the global issue of antimicrobial resistance. 20-50% of surgical antibiotic prescription in Nigeria is thought to be non-compliant with prescribing guidance published by the World Health Organisation. 

Working in partnership with three hospitals in Nigeria, the GADSA (Gamified Antimicrobial Stewardship Mobile Decision Support App) project explored barriers to compliant prescribing for elective surgeries and the preliminary impact of a gamified smartphone app on prescribing behaviour change and compliance with guidance. 

The group co-designed the app through focus group discussions with local surgeons. In-app feedback on prescription decisions is provided by an interactive ‘mentor’ and badges are awarded for compliant decisions and interaction with the app. The app is currently being piloted across the three sites but early data shows a positive impact. 

The project was led by Dr Patty Kostkova with an interdisciplinary team from the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, the UCL Institute for Health Informatics, Public Health England and colleagues at Lagos University. 

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