World Antibiotic Awareness Week focuses on working together

Ebony Scott
November 13, 2018

The world Health Organization warned Monday 12 November against the rise in unsafe, the consumption of antibiotics in some countries, but also under-consumption in other regions, leading to the emergence of "superbugs" life-threatening. "In a first, the United Nations health agency said it had collated data on antibiotic use across large parts of the world and had found huge differences in consumption..."

This year, the WHO European Region will mark the 4th annual World Antibiotic Awareness Week on 12-18 November, by committing to closer collaboration across sectors to protect human, animal and environment health, in the spirit of One Health. As a result of infection with drug-resistant bacteria an estimated 700 000 people die each year worldwide.

"Access" category represents more than 50% of antibiotic consumption. But over the decades, the bacteria are modified to resist to these drugs. Antibiotics for therapeutic uses in animals are classed by MPI as restricted veterinary medicines and need a veterinary prescription before use. Further, about a third (29%) would be dissatisfied if their doctor did not prescribe an antibiotic for their child's viral infection. "By using antibiotics carefully, bacteria are less likely to become resistant to them", says Mr Kinsella.

The DHB wants to get the message across that antibiotic resistance caused by the misuse or overuse of antibiotics is one of the biggest threats to global health today.

The five days of World Antibiotic Awareness Week features tailored multiday messaging that corresponds to each of the five strategic objectives of the GAP - awareness, global AMR surveillance, infection prevention and control, optimal antimicrobial use and investment and R&D.

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In Europe, the average consumption of antibiotics approach the 18 DDJ for 1 000 inhabitants per day, with the top of the Turkey (38 DDJ), which is nearly 5 times more than the last in the ranking, Azerbaijan (8 DDJ).

Dr Moeti stated that antibiotics, apart from being miracle life-savers, are becoming ineffective against resistant infectious which can affect anyone, of any age, in any country. Many governments are phasing out the use of antibiotics as a growth promoter and preventive measure in livestock, and now only use antimicrobials in healthy animals in very exceptional circumstances.

From 2019, World Health Organization aims to integrate antimicrobial consumption data into their Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (GLASS) IT platform to provide a single place for data on both consumption and resistance.

"We need to help people understand why it is happening, that it poses a genuine risk to our future health and we can all do something to help", says Dr Millar.

"According to our survey of 2,500 consumers, the belief that antibiotic resistance is affecting us now has more than doubled in recent years, from 11% in 2015 to 25% in 2017, indicating our campaigns have had an impact and people are more aware of the problem", said Mr Morris.

Other reports by GizPress

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