Excessive and inappropriate use of antibiotics is one of the main reasons for the development of resistant bacteria, which, in turn, represents one of the most significant threats to public health.
Thus, multi-resistant bacteria cause 33,000 deaths per year in Europe and generate additional health costs of approximately 1.5 billion euros.
The PRAN (National Antibiotic Resistance Plan) campaign has also reached the Pitiosa health region with information tables in all health centers and both hospitals, Can Misiones and Formentera.
And, as a result of misuse, antibiotics are losing effectiveness at a rate that was unimaginable just five years ago. “If antibiotic use continues at the current rate, Europe could go back to the pre-antibiotic era, when common bacterial infections such as pneumonia could lead to death,” he warned.
“The progress of modern medicine is at risk: without effective antibiotics to care for and prevent infections, the success of treatments such as organ transplantation, chemotherapy or surgery will be compromised. If we do not solve this problem, in the year 2050 experts predict a total of 40,000 deaths annually from infections that were previously easily treatable,” he tells the health sector.
it’s better to stop
Factors that accelerate the process of resistance to antibiotics include not only the misuse of these drugs, but also deficiencies in infection prevention and control. “We can all take measures to reduce the impact of this phenomenon and limit its spread,” he recalls. To this end, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends frequent hand washing, adopting good food hygiene, avoiding direct contact with sick people, and timely compliance with vaccination schedules.
Risks of Self-Medication
Many winter illnesses may have similar symptoms, but do not require the same treatment. “If you have been prescribed an antibiotic for a previous illness and you have recovered, it may be tempting to use the same antibiotic if similar symptoms occur. However, only a doctor who treated you can determine whether a winter illness requires antibiotic treatment,” he emphasizes.
“Taking antibiotics to fight cold and flu won’t do you any good. Additionally, antibiotics can cause unpleasant adverse reactions such as diarrhea, nausea, or skin rashes. Taking antibiotics to deal with mild bacterial infections, such as rhinosinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis or ear pain is often unnecessary because in most cases our immune system is able to defeat such infections,” he highlights.
Additionally, most winter illnesses heal within two weeks.
There are PROA groups in primary care and hospital care to optimize the use of antibiotics in the health sector. The objectives of the PROA group (Program for Optimization of the Use of Antimicrobials) are primarily to reduce adverse effects related to the use of antibiotics, including microbiological resistance, in addition to guaranteeing cost-effective therapy and improving the prognosis of patients.
The increasing complexity in the management of infectious diseases and the increase in resistance to antibiotics are the fundamental reasons for the implementation of these programs in the health sector of Ibiza and Formentera. About a decade ago, the PROA group in hospital care was created, and two and a half years ago, the PROA group in primary care was created, with the goal of responsible use of antibiotics.