The European Union (EU) is having difficulty reaching its goal in combating unnecessary antibiotic use.
More than 35 thousand people die every year in Europe due to antimicrobial resistant infections due to unnecessary use of antibiotics.
Unless the use of antibiotics is limited, it is feared that this trend will continue and the number of deaths will increase. The increase in “Klebsiella pneumoniae” cases that are resistant to “carbapenems”, an antibiotic generally used as last care, is noteworthy.
Such infections have a similar impact on human health to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which causes influenza, tuberculosis and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
On June 13, the European Union (EU) set the goal of “reducing antibiotic use by 20 percent by 2030” to solve this growing public health problem.
According to the data prepared by the EU’s health agency, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), on the occasion of November 18, European Antibiotic Awareness Day, and shared with the AA correspondent, European countries have not yet made significant progress towards achieving this target.
Between 2019 and 2022, antibiotic use could only be reduced by an average of 2.5 percent.
Despite the EU’s targets, antibiotic use increased by 22 percent in Bulgaria, 15 percent in Malta, 13 percent in Lithuania, and 11 percent in the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus in 2022.
On the other hand, it was seen that Finland and Luxembourg were on track to meet their 2030 targets, with decreases of 14.9 percent and 9.9 percent.
While Germany did not share its data, changes close to the EU average were observed in countries such as France, Italy and Spain.
According to the “Eurobarometer” survey conducted by the EU in 27 member countries in March, the most antibiotics are used in Malta (42 percent) and the least in Germany (15 percent). While the rate of antibiotic use in France is 28 percent, the EU average is 23 percent. While only 50 percent of citizens in the EU stated that they knew that antibiotics do not kill viruses, 39 percent expressed the opposite opinion, and 11 percent stated that they had no information on the subject. (AA)