UEMO celebrates Antimicrobial Resistance Week 2022

18/11/2022 8 Views
UEMO celebrates Antimicrobial Resistance Week 2022

Each year, UEMO, together with other healthcare professionals, mark the week of 18-22 November to raise awareness of antimicrobial resistance and informing patients to always finish their prescribed antibiotics and to never take them to treat viral diseases.

A special Eurobarometer published on November 17 offers an overview of the Europeans’ attitudes towards antibiotics. The main results are:

  • Antibiotic use reached a record low: 23% of Europeans say they have taken antibiotics in oral form in the past year, the lowest since 2009. But this varies from 42% in Malta to 15% in Sweden and Germany.
  • Around 8% of antibiotics were taken without a prescription.
  • A very large proportion of Europeans have taken antibiotics without justification (i.e. for viral infections or symptoms only).

The survey also showed a worrying lack of awareness by citizens as to the appropriate use of antibiotics:

  • Only half (50%) of respondents know that antibiotics are ineffective against viruses.
  • Only 3 in 10 Europeans knew that the unnecessary use of antibiotics makes them become ineffective, that taking antibiotics should only stop after completing the whole treatment, that antibiotics often entail side effects, such as diarrhoea, and that antibiotics are not effective against colds.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) – the ability of microorganisms to resist antimicrobial treatments, especially antibiotics – has a direct impact on human and animal health and carries a heavy economic burden due to higher costs of treatments and reduced productivity caused by sickness. AMR is responsible for an estimated 33,000 deaths per year in the EU. It is also estimated that AMR costs the EU €1.5 billion per year in healthcare costs and productivity losses.

 

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