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The study primarily aimed at assessing the appropriateness of antibiotic prescriptions in a section of public health institutions in Lesotho using an assessment tool formulated from principles of antibiotic prescribing. Relevant data on procedures of infection diagnosis and prescribed antibiotics were collected from both inpatient and outpatient case reports for a onemonth period in five public hospitals in Lesotho. These were analyzed for the appropriateness of the prescribed antibiotics. Prescription appropriateness assessment was based on conformities of prescribed antibiotics to criteria developed from pertinent principles of antibiotic prescribing. Assessed prescriptions, 307 inpatient and 865 outpatient prescriptions in total, were classified into categories of appropriateness based on extents to which they satisfied conditions defined by combinations of criteria in the assessment tool. Antibiotic prescriptions from inpatient and outpatient departments of study site hospitals were categorized into groups of different degrees of appropriateness. A total of 32.2% inpatient prescriptions and 78.4% outpatient prescriptions assessed were appropriately written for the empiric treatment of infections for which bacterial pathogens were considered absolute or possible etiologies. The use of prescription assessment tools based on principles of antibiotic prescribing is a feasible option of assessing the appropriateness of antibiotic prescriptions, particularly in low-income countries where expert panels cannot be formed.
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