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Babies with suspected severe bacterial infections can be safely treated at home

Oral antibiotics can be given at home to treat babies with severe bacterial infections such as pneumonia and sepsis

Babies with possible severe bacterial infections such as pneumonia and sepsis can be given oral antibiotics at home and do not need to spend time in hospital receiving injectable antibiotics, according to research published in The Lancet.

These findings challenge World Health Organization policy that babies with such infections should stay in hospital for seven to ten days for antibiotics injections, and follow two studies in Africa and one in Bangladesh where the outcomes were compared among more than 8,000 children some of whom went to hospital for antibiotics and others who took them at home. There was little difference in treatment failure or death rates between the groups. In many cases, adherence was better among the home treatment group.

Ebunoluwa Adejuyigbe, dean of the school of medicine at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria and co-author of one study, said: Safe, effective, simplified treatment alternatives provided on

Babies with possible severe bacterial infections such as pneumonia and sepsis can be given oral antibiotics at home and do not need to spend time in hospital receiving injectable antibiotics, according to research published in The Lancet.

These findings challenge World Health Organization policy that babies with such infections should stay in hospital for seven to ten days for antibiotics injections, and follow two studies in Africa and one in Bangladesh where the outcomes were compared among more than 8,000 children – some of whom went to hospital for antibiotics and others who took them at home. There was little difference in treatment failure or death rates between the groups. In many cases, adherence was better among the home treatment group.

Ebunoluwa Adejuyigbe, dean of the school of medicine at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria and co-author of one study, said: ‘Safe, effective, simplified treatment alternatives provided on an outpatient basis could help increase the number of children receiving care.'

To view the African Neonatal Sepsis Trial 1 research: click here

To view the African Neonatal Sepsis Trial 2 research: click here

To view the Bangladesh research: click here

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