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12° Nicosia,
13 June, 2024
 
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Cyprus tackles alarming rates of antibiotic consumption

Ministry of Health implements surveillance program to promote rational use of antibiotics and combat antimicrobial resistance

Newsroom / CNA

Cyprus is facing a serious problem with the consumption of antibiotic drugs and is now implementing a surveillance program on antibiotic prescriptions in outpatient health care in collaboration with the Health Insurance Organization.

The Ministry of Health stated that according to data from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), Cyprus is among the European countries with the highest consumption of antibiotic drugs, resulting in one of the highest rates of antimicrobial resistance.

Recognizing the seriousness of the problem, the Epidemiological Surveillance and Control of Infectious Diseases Unit of the Ministry of Health has planned and implemented actions aimed at the rational use of antibiotics in medicine and the treatment of AMR. The Ministry adds that these actions include the development of a program for the surveillance of antibiotic prescribing in outpatient health care, in collaboration with the Health Insurance Organization.

As part of this program, a questionnaire has been introduced since Tuesday, May 2nd, which must be completed by the attending physicians when prescribing antibiotics through the GHS computer system. The questionnaire includes a question related to the clinical indication for prescribing the antibiotic.

The Ministry of Health's ultimate goal is to promote the prescription of antibiotics only when necessary, i.e., in the case of bacterial rather than viral infections, and also to prescribe antibiotics that are appropriate for the patient's infection.

In addition, the Ministry of Health reminds everyone that the rational use of antibiotics and safeguarding the effectiveness of these valuable medicines is the responsibility of both health professionals and the public.

"We should remember that antibiotics should only be taken under the prescription of a doctor who has examined us. We should not save antibiotics for later use, use antibiotics left over from previous treatments, or give leftover antibiotics to others," the Ministry concludes.

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Cyprus  |  health

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