Cyprus Mail

Slight improvement on overuse of antibiotics

By Constantinos Psillides

Cyprus is among the EU countries with the highest percentage of microbial resistance because of the overuse of antibiotics, Health Minister Philippos Patsalis said on Tuesday.

But, he said, the situation on the island had improved slightly.

Speaking at an event on European Antibiotic Awareness Day, Patsalis said that antibiotics were ineffective when it came to treating viral infections, while their overuse usually resulted in making modern medical treatments such as surgeries and chemotherapy far less or completely ineffective.

“Recognising the severity of this global problem we set up a National Antibiotics Committee, aiming at lowering the microbial resistance in Cyprus. The committee’s actions included a campaign on antibiotics, establishing a protocol of limiting antibiotic use and setting up a National Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network,” said the minister, pointing out that as a result the overall microbial resistance in Cyprus registered a small decrease over the last three years.

Patsalis noted that according to the Eurobarometer on Microbial Resistance for 2013, EU citizens severely lack knowledge regarding antibiotics and their usage.

“For example, 40 percent of Europeans are under the false impression that antibiotics can fight off viral infections, like a cold or the flu,” he said.

Patsalis reminded that securing the effectiveness of antibiotics through proper use was everyone’s responsibility: “Proper use means resorting to antibiotics when battling an infection caused by a microbe, with the required dosage and for are as long as the treatment calls for it,” he said.







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