Bacteria are increasingly resistant to the effects of antibiotics. Their overuse is one of the main causes for this phenomenon. A campaign aimed at reducing the consumption of antibiotics will be launched to combat this issue.
On Thursday, 30th of September, the first press conference on the global issue of antibiotic resistance took place in the Kaiserstein Palace in Prague. The event served as the official launch of the „Prevention of Antibiotic Resistance“ project, which aims to combat the worsening problem of antibiotic overuse.
Discovered by the Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming, antibiotics have been saving our lives for almost 100 years. However, an unfortunate trend in recent decades is the so-called antibiotic resistance, which results from antibiotic misuse and affects the entire population.
„The concept of antibiotic resistance began to gain much attention in the late 1990s. Since 1998, it has been considered a serious problem threatening the global population, and since then it has been continuously addressed at meetings of international organizations (EU, UN, WHO, etc.). In the years 2000-2007, an antibiotic awareness campaign took place in France. During the 7 years of operation, the number of prescribed antibiotics has actually decreased rapidly by tens of percent,“ explains doctor Helena Žemličková, the head of the National Reference Laboratory for Antibiotics and the project´s guarantor.
Research carried out on antibiotics clearly shows that there is a link between knowledge and its use. Awareness is generally lower among people with low levels of education and also among those who come from worse economic conditions. It is these groups that are more likely to „overuse“ antibiotics. That is why projects are being created in countries around the world that seek to spread awareness about this issue. The Czech Republic is no exception.
„A campaign is being launched in our country this autumn, the aim of which is to promote a responsible approach to antibiotics. This means reducing their use and improving the awareness of the health risks that come along with them. Unfortunately, few people are aware that their irresponsible approach to antibiotics supports the resistance of bacteria, which can then endanger not only the individuals in question but also their surrounding“, doctor Žemličková adds.
The State Health Institute is the implementer of the Antibiotic Resistance Prevention project. The Antibiotic Resistance Prevention Project (ZD-PVP2-001) was supported by a grant from the EEA Funds 2014–2021 from the Health Program. www.eeagrants.cz.