Cyprus and Greece lead the consumption of antibiotics in the European Union, with the percentage of the population reaching up to 30% per year, while the average in the other member states is around 15%, it was said on Thursday, according to during a press conference of the Cyprus Pathological Society, to announce that it is undertaking a campaign to inform and enlighten the public about the correct use of antibiotics, on the occasion of the European Day for the correct use of antibiotics.
The campaign, with the message, “Antibiotics: Protect yourself with the advice of your doctor”, which takes place from November 24 to December 1, 2022, is supported by the pharmaceutical company Medochemie and is under the auspices of the Ministry of Health and the Pancypriot Medical Association, reports Press release.
It is noted that it was emphasized at the press conference by the doctors of the Cyprus Pathological Society that antibiotics should be taken with logic and prudence, so that they are a valuable health ally. “Reckless and unnecessary use of antibiotics, they warned, not only does not cure, but in the long run may cause other health problems,” it added.
According to the press release, “Greece and Cyprus hold the lead in the consumption of antibiotics in the European Union, with the percentage of the population reaching up to 30% per year, while the average in the other member states is around 15 %”.
It is added that, as mentioned by the President of the Cyprus Pathological Society, Dr. Andreas Ioannou, the misuse is due to the misconception that viruses are treated with antibiotics, stressing that a key pillar in the effort to avoid unnecessary prescription of antibiotics is the personal doctor. No antibiotic is a panacea and no antibiotic is a painkiller, indicated Dr. Ioannou, since, as he said, every infection needs specialized treatment. He noted, “that vaccination and sugar regulation play an important role in reducing antibiotic consumption, as well as reducing the administration of antibiotics to animals, whose meat ends up on our plates, creating new resistant strains in the human body.”
Welcoming the event, the Director of Medical Services and Public Health Services, Dr. Elisavet Constantinou, said that the Ministry of Health, wanting to deal with the phenomenon of reckless use of antibiotics, has recently reconstituted the National Coordinating Committee “One Health” with the aim of drawing up a National Action Plan to deal with antimicrobial resistance, it is reported. In addition, said Ms. Constantinou, the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Health Insurance Organization, have developed an antibiotic prescription program in primary health care, while in the near future it is expected to implement the “Design of an Electronic Platform for the surveillance of hospital consumption of antibiotics and of nosocomial infections”.
The President of the Pancypriot Medical Association Dr. Petros Agathangelou, “indicated that informing the citizens about the dangers posed by the reckless use of antibiotics is today more imperative than ever”. With the overuse of antibiotics, said Dr. Agathangelou, as mentioned, antibiotic-resistant bacteria are increasing, with the result that at the moment when taking antibiotics is really necessary, their effectiveness is decreasing.
Antibiotics are one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the 20th century and one of the greatest weapons in the hands of doctors to fight bacterial infections, Medochemie Sales Director Nikos Christidis is quoted as saying. “He emphasized, however, that avoidance of visiting the doctor, ignorance, semi-knowledge, excessive fear, intensive lifestyle, low pain tolerance and frivolity, led to their misuse and abuse”, hence they will continue to they support actions like this, it is added.
According to the press release, doctors advise the public to take antibiotics only with a doctor’s prescription and to complete the antibiotic treatment as directed, not to take antibiotics left over from other treatments, never to share antibiotics with others, while noting that unnecessary use of antibiotics can cause other health problems.
It is reported that as part of the Enlightenment Campaign, an enlightening awareness spot is shown on all television channels, while at the same time, articles and presentations about risk factors from the reckless use of antibiotics are channeled into the print and electronic press.