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European Day for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics: A European Health Initiative

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Javier Carbone, MD, PhD
Complutense University
Madrid, Spain

A recent high profile report estimates that by 2050, 10 million people will die every year due to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) unless a global response to the problem of AMR is mounted. On November 17, a meeting related with the European Antibiotic Awareness Day 2017 was held at the Spanish Ministry of Health in Madrid, Spain.

Belen Crespo, Director of the Spanish Drug Agency (AEMPS), talked about recent advances of the Spanish National Plan against AMR (PRAN). Infection-related death rates due to AMR are increasing in Spain with antibiotic resistance causing 2,500 deaths each year. This situation generates an additional health spend of 150 million euro. The focuses of PRAN are human and animal health. One Health recognizes that the health of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment.

Actions of Human Health in Spain are oriented to primary and specialty care, health care associated infections, definition of indicators of AMR, critic antimicrobial lists, the need of an increasing role of microbiologist and infectious disease specialists, awareness campaigns for professionals and public in general, communication and education. A program for the optimization of the appropriate use of antimicrobials (PROA) in primary care and hospitals is in due course in 10 regions of Spain. A web page for surveillance of AMR has been designed and will be available in the next days. Voluntary reduction of colistin use in veterinary medicine in Spain is an example of the actions that are ongoing in veterinary medicine.

Jean Baptiste Rouffet, member of the coordinating group of the European Joint Action of Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections (EU-JAMRAI), gave a conference entitled Antimicrobial Resistance, yes we care! According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, across Europe, infections caused by multiresistant bacteria are responsible of 25,000 deaths and 1,500 millions of euros in losses each year. Rouffet presented updated information of the context of the Joint Action, general objectives and inclusive governance. The challenges of the Joint Action are the awareness of the general public and healthcare professionals, education of health professionals on appropriate use of antimicrobials, research and innovation in the field, surveillance and monitoring and governance and intersectorial policy. Thirteen measures are ongoing including an intersectorial communication campaign, providing support to proper prescribing and incentivize healthcare professionals. An important challenge is to reach consistency between the objectives of WHO and other international organizations and the Joint Action work packages. Inclusive governance of the Joint Action includes 28 countries and partners including university, patient associations, scientific societies and international organizations (ECDC, WHO, OECD, FAO, OIE).

The participation of distinct specialties is necessary for the development of efficient tools and guidelines for antimicrobial use and surveillance of resistance in humans and animals. ■

Disclosure Statement: The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.

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