The Health Ministry on Tuesday warned that bacterial resistance to antibiotics was one of the biggest problems in the public health system, annually killing about 700,000 people around the world and called on citizens and physicians for the rational use of antibiotics, particularly during the winter months.
"The inappropriate use of antibiotics carries huge risks and is a big problem for contemporary medicine and mankind. Together we all have to strive to reduce consumption of antibiotics whenever it is possible, and that they are not prescribed where there are absolutely no indications for antibiotics," Health Minister Milan Kujndzic told a press conference on the occasion of marking European Antibiotic Awareness Day, observed on Monday, November 18, 2019.
The public health initiative marking that day in Croatia is directed to educating adults and children and one of the messages is that cold, flu and other virus based illnesses should be treated with tea, honey, lemons and rest and not antibiotics.
Last year, 33.000 people died in Europe, and 700.000 around the world due to infections caused by resistance to antibiotics. It is estimated that in 20 to 30 years time that number could be as high as 10 million a year.
Croats take one round of antibiotics each year
Croats take about one round of antibiotics each year on average, similarly to the average European citizen. That is too much, said Arjana Tambic Andrasevic of the Croatian Academy for Medical Science, explaining that serious bacterial infections that require treatment with antibiotics are not that frequent.
One of the reasons for the over use of antibiotics can be seen in their low costs and fewer side effects compared to other medication, she said, but also pressure on physicians who then give in to patients.
A lot of infections, primarily of the pulmonary system are limited and last about five days, which is too long for the modern man who does not have the time to decently recuperate, Tambic Andrasevic said.