Cyprus is facing a significant challenge with high antibiotic usage, which has led to concerns about bacterial resistance. Health experts are calling for regulatory measures and stewardship programs to control antibiotic use and prevent public health risks.
What is the main challenge Cyprus faces regarding antibiotic usage?
Cyprus faces a significant challenge with high antibiotic consumption, leading Europe in usage rates. Health experts warn that excessive prescribing in human and veterinary medicine fosters bacterial resistance. Urgent calls for regulatory measures and stewardship programs emphasize the need to control antibiotic use and prevent public health risks.
A Call to Action from Health Experts
Cyprus has been brought to the spotlight as the leading country in antibiotic consumption within Europe. This alarming revelation came to light during a scientific event hosted by the Cyprus Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (CSCMID). The meeting brought together various stakeholders in the medical community to address this pressing issue.
The Veterinary Connection
The discussions revealed that the problem of high antibiotic usage isn’t confined to human medicine; it also plagues the veterinary sector. The inappropriate use of antibiotics in animals is a significant concern, as it can lead to the development of resistant strains of bacteria, which may then be transferred to humans.
Climate Change and Microbial Resistance
During the event, Professor Georgios Petrikkos, president of CSCMID, delivered a compelling speech on the impact of climate change on infections and the growing problem of microbial resistance. He painted a stark picture of the future, highlighting how factors such as global overpopulation, urbanization, and the use of antibiotics in agriculture contribute to this dire situation.
The Role of Vaccination
The issue of vaccination, specifically against pneumococcus, was also addressed by pathologist and infectious disease expert Costas Constantinou. He presented the latest data, emphasizing the crucial role vaccines play in reducing the need for antibiotics by preventing diseases before they occur.
Primary Care Prescriptions: A Closer Look
Panayiotis Papastergiou, a clinical microbiologist, shed light on the prescription patterns in primary care, revealing that a staggering 80% of antibiotics are prescribed at this level. More concerning is his estimate that 70% of these prescriptions may be inappropriate, not adhering to the proper diagnosis, guidelines, type, dosage, or duration of treatment.
The Need for Stewardship Programs
Highlighting the critical need for effective antibiotic stewardship programs in hospitals, Anastasia Antoniadou, a professor of pathology at the University of Cyprus Medical School, pointed to the high rates of antibiotic consumption, microbial resistance, and hospital-acquired infections across Europe, with a particular focus on Cyprus.
Urgent Calls for Regulatory Measures
As the event concluded, there was a unanimous call for immediate and strict regulatory measures to manage and control the use of antibiotics across various sectors. The consensus was clear: Cyprus must take decisive steps to reduce antibiotic consumption and effectively combat resistance to safeguard public health.
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- Cyprus faces a significant challenge with high antibiotic consumption, leading Europe in usage rates, which has raised concerns about bacterial resistance.
- The problem of high antibiotic usage extends beyond human medicine and also affects the veterinary sector.
- Climate change, overpopulation, urbanization, and the use of antibiotics in agriculture contribute to the growing problem of microbial resistance.
- Vaccination plays a crucial role in reducing the need for antibiotics by preventing diseases before they occur.
- A large percentage of antibiotics are prescribed in primary care, with estimates suggesting that a significant portion of these prescriptions may be inappropriate.