In 2018, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its strategy to improve surveillance, delay emergence, limit transmission, and mitigate harm from AMR pathogens in Africa. At a workshop in April 2018, Africa Union (AU) Member States and stakeholders identified priority activities for implementing Africa CDC’s Framework for AMR Control. For mitigating harm, participants noted that many countries in Africa currently lack guidelines that define when to treat infections and what appropriate antimicrobial agents to use. Except for selected diseases, such as HIV, TB, and malaria, healthcare providers must use their individual judgment or rely on guidelines developed outside of Africa.


To fill this gap and to encourage the appropriate use of antimicrobials in the human health sector, Africa CDC and the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) developed the following African Antibiotic Treatment Guidelines for Common Bacterial Infections and Syndromes, First Edition.


The purpose of these guidelines is to provide healthcare workers with expert recommendations for antimicrobial selection, dosage, and duration of treatment for common bacterial infections and syndromes among pediatric and adult patient populations in Africa and to promote the appropriate use of antimicrobials to mitigate the emergence and spread of AMR pathogens. The enclosed guidelines are based on a systematic review of existing national standard or clinical treatment guidelines, available AMR data, and clinical expertise from an international group of physicians, pharmacists, and other clinicians involved in the treatment of infectious diseases. The treatment recommendations are intended to complement existing national and international clinical treatment guidelines, where available, and to provide a template for local adaption in their absence. The guidelines are intended for use by clinicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other personnel involved in the treatment of infectious diseases or dispensing of antimicrobials in Africa.


The first edition of the guidelines focuses on common bacterial infections and clinical syndromes that reflect AU member states’ priority health areas. It is anticipated that some countries, sub-national areas, and/or facilities already have or will develop, in the near future, antimicrobial treatment guidelines, based on local data, epidemiology, and clinical expertise. In those situations, Africa CDC anticipates healthcare workers will rely on the most locally relevant standards or recommendations, informed by their clinical judgment, when selecting an antimicrobial agent and determining the dosage and duration of therapy.


Africa CDC aspires to have its guidelines also serve as a standardized model for other jurisdictions or facilities in Africa that develop their own guidelines. This document describes the methodologies employed to develop the first edition guidelines and a protocol for continuously updating the guidelines.


Read about our methodologies here.