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Pneumonia remains the leading cause of paediatric infectious mortality globally. Treatment failure, which can result from non-adherence to oral antibiotics, can lead to poor outcomes and therefore improving adherence could be a strategy to reduce pneumonia related morbidity and mortality. However, there is little published evidence from low-resource settings for the drivers of non-adherence to oral antibiotics in children.

We aimed to investigate reasons for adherence and non-adherence in children diagnosed and treated in the community with fast-breathing pneumonia in rural Malawi.

We conducted focus group discussions (FGDs) with caregivers of children known to have been diagnosed and treated with oral antibiotics for fast-breathing pneumonia in the community and key informant interviews with community healthcare workers (CHW). FGDs and interviews were conducted within communities in Chichewa, the local language. We used a framework approach to analyze the transcripts.