Antibiotics are precious and non-negotiable resources used every day to help cure common illnesses and prevent infections during surgery. Unfortunately, because of excessive use, bacteria become resistant, leading to antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
AMR is a serious threat to the health of people in Europe as in globally. As a result, antibiotics become less effective and ultimately useless and lead to a world where simple infections are no longer treatable.
AMR presents a serious social and economic burden. It is estimated to be responsible for 25,000 deaths per year in the EU alone (globally this number could be as high as 700 000) and costs EUR 1.5 billion annually.
How much antibiotics are we consuming?
· The consumption of specific antibiotics used for treatment of multidrug-resistant bacterial infections has almost doubled in Europe between 2010-2014.
· The bulk of antimicrobials are not consumed by humans but by animals. Nevertheless through the food chain we take over some of the goodies from the animals. In the US, the livestock sector accounts for about 80% of the total annual consumption of antibiotics!
· When speaking about forerunners of the antibiotics consumption, then the first place goes to Greece, where defined dose per 1000 inhabitants is as high as 34 doses.
Antimicrobial resistance is an issue which affects us all and where we all can change habits around us.
- Pose a question to your general practitioner if the cold you have is viral or bacterial?
- Choose only animal protein, which has not been treated with antibiotics!
- Raise the awareness of antimicrobial resistance around you!
It is estimated that globally, only half of antibiotics are used correctly… You would like the antibiotics to do their work when needed the most, don’t you?