Bulgaria is Ranked First in Taking Antibiotics in an Inadequate Way

Health | November 18, 2021, Thursday // 13:29|  views


Bulgaria ranks first in the inadequate use of antibiotics. From November 18 to 24, we are organizing a week dedicated to antimicrobial resistance (AR) and COVID-19. This was stated by Elena Tsoneva-Papudjieva from the WHO in Bulgaria at a press conference dedicated to the awareness of antimicrobial resistance and COVID-19, a BGNES reporter reported.

According to Assoc. Prof. Mihail Okoliyski, an expert from the office of the World Health Organization in Bulgaria, the role of the media in informing the public is quite important, because the danger of overuse of antibiotics must reach every citizen.

"AR is one of the biggest threats to human health in this century. The WHO has identified AR as one of the greatest threats to human life, along with climate change, mental health changes and pathogens such as COVID-19. This year our campaign is related to the promotion of certain messages, which we hope will reach more and more people. 3 years ago we developed an AR program that includes all the necessary partners. It was ready, but not yet accepted. We hope that the new government will address this issue, because the consequences will be fatal. One of the steps that the WHO recommends is training, information packages for general practitioners and their patients on how not to prescribe antibiotics unnecessarily, to have a sensitivity on the topic and for people to be interested in their own health," said Assoc. District.

According to him, the overuse of antibiotics is extremely contraindicated.

"The topics of the AR are also related to food safety. Last year we translated a study on the attitudes and behavior of Bulgarians towards COVID-19, prevention measures and vaccines. We have very sensitive data on the topics. There is also the question of the use of antibiotics. The results show that antibiotics are too often used to treat COVID-19, which is not the best course," he said.

"We have included the AR in the two-year cooperation agreement, which is to be signed between the WHO and the Bulgarian government. We will try to motivate the government to adopt this national program, because it is key. If there are no systems of efforts at the state level, these negative trends will not be stopped and many Bulgarians will die from preventable diseases," added Assoc. Prof. Okoliyski.

Assoc. Prof. Ivan Ivanov, Head of the National Reference Laboratory "Control and Monitoring of Antibiotic Resistance" at the Center for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, for his part said that working with the WHO for years has been extremely fruitful.

"I work in a laboratory that deals with the aggregation of data related to AR. In general, in Europe in 2020 there is an extremely positive trend to reduce the total consumption of antibiotics - 18%. These trends are characteristic not only in Europe but also in the United States. From the study in which we participate - it concerns 27 countries in Europe - only Bulgaria of these member states reports an increase in the consumption of antibiotics in the outpatient sector. This increase is in the range of 20-30%, which is worrying. We worked on which groups of antibiotics are most affected by this overconsumption. Macrolides are the most widely used group of antibiotics in outpatient care - over 100% increase in azithromycin as a key antibiotic in this group. Increasing resistance to these antibiotics will lead to more relapses. Currently, 43 molecules are being studied worldwide, 7 of which have undergone sufficient clinical trials. For the first time, molecules that are not typical antibiotics are discussed - bacteriophages, immunostimulants and others. The scientific community is already beginning to worry that antibiotics may stop working, and we are turning to alternative therapies” he explained.


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Tags: antibiotics, AR, Bulgaria, COVID-19


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