For World Antibiotics Week, which takes place every year in November, the Semmelweis Foundation has launched a high-profile awareness campaign and called on employees and supporters to “go blue”. The goal of the social media campaign was also to take the public along in the responsibility and to raise awareness for a more thoughtful use of antimicrobials, such as antibiotics. The “Go Blue” campaign was launched on November 18 and successfully concluded on November 24.
According to World Health Organization estimates, every year, 700,000 people die from resistant germs. By 2050, WHO makes a grim prediction for health systems worldwide: 100 billion euro (1.2 trillion USD) additional costs per year that will be attributed to antimicrobial resistance. This includes not only bacteria, but also fungi, viruses and parasites. In Austria, (every 20th patient) currently suffers from a nosocomial infection, an infection that can be linked to medical treatment or a stay in a healthcare facility. Drugs used to treat infections with these pathogens are becoming increasingly ineffective. This is a dramatic development that can be linked to their intensive and often reckless use in medical facilities, veterinary medicine and agriculture.
“Researchers have been warning us for some time now and paint a bleak picture of several million deaths per year in the future due to multi-resistant germs. This is not a secret, but a bitter reality if we do not act abruptly now. On the one hand, hospital staff must be made aware of the need for a more considered and selective use of antibiotics. On the other hand, the use of antimicrobials can be reduced through well-implemented hygiene concepts, especially through the correct disinfection of hands,” explains Johannes Culen, new managing director of the Semmelweis Foundation.
Hygiene specialist urgently needed
To actively prevent nosocomial infections, extra care in hygiene measures is essential to prevent infections and therefore save lives.
“We want to use World Antimicrobial Awareness Week not only to raise awareness among medical staff, but also to provide an impetus for policymakers to pay more attention to hospital hygiene and provide healthcare facilities with the appropriate resources. At present, there are no hygiene specialists who can devote themselves exclusively to this topic. We are currently experiencing a pandemic, where the general population is permanently confronted with the issue of hygiene. There are now disinfection stations everywhere. Our demand to politicians is simple: one hygiene specialist per 250 hospital beds would already significantly reduce the incidence of infections,” adds Culen.
If you’re interested you can still join us in the fight against nosocomial infections and antibiotic resistency at: Semmelweis Foundation | Facebook