European Antibiotic Awareness Day 2013: everyone is responsible
European Antibiotic Awareness Day will be marked across the continent today.
Antibiotic resistance affects the entire WHO European Region, driven by the overuse, underuse and misuse of antibiotics.
Although some efforts have been made to combat this misuse, many countries have no national regulation or enforcement on antibiotic usage; healthy animals are given antibiotics to promote growth or prevent disease, and commercial companies promote antibiotics irresponsibly. In many countries, members of the general public can buy antibiotics over the counter (without a prescription) and use them at will.
Mapping antibiotic use and resistance is a key aspect of the European strategic action plan on antibiotic resistance, endorsed by all countries in the European Region in 2011.
European Antibiotics Awareness Day is coordinated by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)and aims to spread the message about the risks associated with the inappropriate use of antibiotics and how to take antibiotics responsibly.