Azithromycin to Reduce Childhood Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa

by Jeremy D. Keenan, Robin L. Bailey, Sheila K. West et al.
N Engl J Med 2018; 378:1583-1592, April 26, 2018

10 pp. 318 kB

The authors hypothesized that mass distribution of a broad-spectrum antibiotic agent to preschool children would reduce mortality in areas of sub-Saharan Africa that are currently far from meeting the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. They conclude that among postneonatal, preschool children in sub-Saharan Africa, childhood mortality was lower in communities randomly assigned to mass distribution of azithromycin than in those assigned to placebo, with the largest effect seen in Niger. Any implementation of a policy of mass distribution would need to strongly consider the potential effect of such a strategy on antibiotic resistance.

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