We slowly learn that if we want to get out of the vicious circle, there is no other way but to act!

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In two weeks we are celebrating the World Antibiotic Awareness Week (13-19 Nov.). On the occasion of this event we made some interviews with representatives of CEE-countries (where antibiotic misuse is still a big issue). Read our first interview with Dr Andreea Moldovan (St. Constantin Hospital Romania).

Andreea, do you celebrate the Antibiotic Awareness Week in your hospital?

Yes, we are celebrating the Antibiotic Awareness Week since 2016 as we are among those European countries where misuse of antibiotics and rates of multidrug resistant bacteria and Clostridium infections are high. Already on May, 5th (International Hand Hygiene Day) we orientated ourselves on the 2017’s WHO slogan “Fight against antibiotic resistance – it’s in your hands”. We presented the following items to a medical and non-medical public: the role of antibiotics, straight indications, the existing molecules and difficulties concerning the elaboration of new molecules. We did this to highlight the risks of misuse of the existing antibiotics and the importance of wisdom and consciousness concerning their use.

What are your experience from the last years? Do such priority actions help to increase awareness?

Yes, definitely, because it is a direct occasion to present the benefices but equally the risks of antibiotics to a large public. All our efforts have one aim: to optimize the prevention measures (hand hygiene, food and water safety, traveller precautions, vaccination, animal reservoir, etc.), to interrupt the main transmission routes (air, water, food, vectors) and to accentuate the importance of bacterial infection diagnosis and thus the indication/ resp. the useless of antibiotic-prescription.

How hospitals in your country generally deal with this topic?

We slowly learn that if we want to get out of the vicious circle, there is no other way but to act: improving hygiene (with special focus on hand hygiene), improving diagnosis techniques, the management of infected or colonized patients and the knowledge about antibiotics (pharmacodynamics, interactions, side effects, doses, etc). All this is important to decrease the high rate of MDRB (multi drug resistant bacteria) and nosocomial infections. We have to understand that this is the only way and the only direction.

What is the general significance of antibiotics in your country? (prescription practices, awareness-change of the people etc.)

We are “great” consumers of antibiotics, because we still have faith of universal panacea, thinking and hoping that this kind of treatment is useful and adequate in all infections, to everybody and in any conditions. That’s why I am sure that the awareness campaigns in relation to antibiotic use need to be done not only for doctors and pharmacists, but also for consumers – the patients. The aim is, that this three parts of the triangle get more in contact with each other.

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Carola Timmel is journalist for print and radio and professional speaker. Her focus lies on the topic Medicine & Health.

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