33000 people die every year due to infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria

An ECDC study estimates that about 33,000 people die each year as a direct consequence of an infection due to bacteria resistant to antibiotics and that the burden of these infections is comparable to that of influenza, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined. It also explains that 75% of the burden of disease is due to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and that reducing this through adequate infection prevention and control measures, as well as antibiotic stewardship, could be an achievable goal in healthcare settings.

Finally, the study shows that 39% of the burden is caused by infections with bacteria resistant to last-line antibiotics such as carbapenems and colistin. This is an increase from 2007 and is worrying because these antibiotics are the last treatment options available. When these are no longer effective, it is extremely difficult or, in many cases, impossible to treat infections.

Source: 33000 people die every year due to infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Antimicrobial resistance

The latest Euro-barometer study shows that there has been a positive evolution in the use of antibiotics: 32% of people said they had taken antibiotics in the last twelve months, compared to 40% in the 2009 survey. However, many of these antibiotics were taken unnecessarily: 20% of  antibiotics were taken for flu or a cold and 7% took them without a medical prescription. 66% of the respondents know that antibiotics are of no use against colds, and 43% are aware that antibiotics are ineffective against viruses. Over two thirds of people would like to have more information about antibiotics.

An important milestone will be the forthcoming European legislation on veterinary medicines and medicated feed, which lays down a wide range of concrete measures to fight antimicrobial resistance and to promote the prudent and responsible use of antimicrobials. As of 2022 in the EU, the use of antimicrobials for growth promotion in animals will be prohibited, as well as the preventive use of antimicrobials via medicated feed and in groups of animals. There will also be restrictions on metaphylactic use of antimicrobials, and the possibility to reserve certain antimicrobials for human use only. In addition, for their exports into the EU, non-EU countries will have to respect the ban on antimicrobials for growth promotion, as well as the restrictions on antimicrobials reserved for human use. The new EU regulations will thereby improve the protection of European consumers against the risk of spread of antimicrobial resistance through imports of animals or of products of animal origin

Source: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-6405_en.htm

Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Knowledge Gateway 

The Gateway recently published a series of briefs on Dietary Salt, Dietary Fats as well as Alcoholic Beverages. Knowledge Gateway briefs include useful and well-structured information on critical issues.

You will find reliable, independent and up-to date information on topics related to the promotion of health and well-being, in particular the prevention of non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

To read more about these briefs go to: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Knowledge Gateway – European Commission

Gates Foundation & EU support health services in Africa

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will contribute €54 million ($62.5 million) to EU efforts to strengthen diagnostic health services in Sub-Saharan Africa under the External Investment Plan.

This cooperation will help to mobilise private investment in laboratory facilities providing timely, cost-effective and accurate diagnostic services for diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV, and malaria, as well as support maternal and child healthcare. This will allow doctors to detect diseases earlier, respond faster and better targeting treatments.

To read more about this on the European Commission website go to: European Commission – PRESS RELEASES – Press release – EU and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation join forces to support health services in Africa

EU Health Award for NGOs 

The 2018 EU Health Award for NGOs Working to Prevent Tobacco Use has now closed. The first prize of €20,000 was awarded to the Irish Cancer Society for the innovative social dimension of their campaign, the peer-to-peer approach, tackling also vulnerable groups in their “X-HALE Youth Smoking Prevention Programme”. The second prize of €15,000 was awarded to “Education Against Tobacco” from Germany for a well-structured and well-studied initiative in the form of a multinational network driven by over 3,500 volunteering medical students and physicians from 82 medical schools located in 14 countries worldwide. The third prize of €10,000 was awarded to the “Youth Network No Excuse” from Slovenia for their strong policy and advocacy component and young leadership which included an educational training programme for their activists to become active citizens, by raising awareness in primary and secondary schools, engaging in research activities, and advocating for stronger tobacco-control legislation. 

To read more about the award go to : EU Health Award for NGOs 2018 – European Commission

Sales of antibiotics for use in food-producing animals drop across the EU 

A PDF iconreport published today by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) shows that the overall sales of veterinary antimicrobials across Europe have decreased by more than 20% between 2011 and 2016. This continues the downward trend seen over the last few years and confirms that European Union (EU) guidance and national campaigns promoting prudent use of antibiotics in animals to fight antimicrobial resistance are having a positive effect.

The results are part of EMA’s report of the European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption (ESVAC) project, which presents detailed sales data for the year 2016 and records yearly changes in the consumption of veterinary antimicrobials dating back to 2010. For the 8th ESVAC report, 30 countries from the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA) plus Switzerland provided data on sales or prescriptions of veterinary antimicrobials for 2016. Of these, 25 EU Member States submitted data for the entire period between 2011 and 2016. Participation in the ESVAC project has grown substantially, from nine countries initially to 30 today.

Reduction in sales is the result of combined efforts of the European Commission, EMA, EU Member States, veterinarians, farmers and other actors in the livestock sector. EU guidance together with national campaigns for prudent use of antibiotics in animals, sales targets and restriction of use of some antimicrobials in food-producing animals are among the actions implemented to reduce the sales of veterinary antimicrobials across Europe under the umbrella of the EU One Health Action Plan against Antimicrobial Resistance. Led by the European Commission, the overarching goal of this plan is to preserve the possibility of effective treatment of infections in humans and animals through a framework for continued, more extensive action to reduce the emergence and spread of AMR.

Source: Sales of antibiotics for use in food-producing animals drop across the EU | European Medicines Agency

AMR action in Europe

In June 2017 the Commission adopted its second Action Plan against AMR. This ambitious action plan builds on the previous one, focusing on activities with a clear EU added value and, where possible, on measurable and concrete outcomes. The key objectives are built on three main pillars:

  • Making the EU a best practice region
  • Boosting research, development and innovation
  • Shaping the global agenda

The bi-annual EU AMR One-Health Network meetings provide members with a platform to present national action plans and strategies and keep each other up to date on their progress, to share best practices, and to discuss policy options and how to enhance cooperation and coordination.

To read more about AMR in Europe, go to: http://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/sante/newsletter-specific-archive-issue.cfm?archtype=specific&newsletter_service_id=327&newsletter_issue_id=11398&page=1&fullDate=Thu%2025%20Oct%202018&lang=default

We must join our forces to stop the unnecessary use of antibiotics

The European Commission released the results of a new Eurobarometer study on the public knowledge on antibiotics and overall trends in their use ahead of the 11th European Antibiotic Awareness Day.

The study shows that there has been a positive evolution in the use of antibiotics: 32% of people said they had taken antibiotics in the last twelve months, compared to 40% in the 2009 survey. However, many of these antibiotics were taken unnecessarily: 20% of  antibiotics were taken for flu or a cold and 7% took them without a medical prescription. 66% of the respondents know that antibiotics are of no use against colds, and 43% are aware that antibiotics are ineffective against viruses. Over two thirds of people would like to have more information about antibiotics.

To read more about this go to: European Commission – PRESS RELEASES – Press release – European Antibiotic Awareness Day 2018: we must join our forces to stop the unnecessary use of antibiotics

Dangerous chemicals in clothing, textiles and footwear

The European Union is taking another important step in protecting EU consumers’ health against chemicals known to cause cancer and reproductive health problems, limiting the use of these hazardous chemicals in clothing, textiles and footwear. Following a new restriction under the REACH Regulation, adopted on 10 October 2018, 33 chemicals that are Carcinogenic, Mutagenic or Toxic for reproduction (CMR) can no longer be used in everyday clothing, textiles and footwear above a certain concentration limit. The restriction will become applicable within 24 months.

The substances restricted may occur in these articles either as impurities or to give specific properties, such as to prevent shrinkage or make fabric crease-resistant. Consumers can be exposed to these hazardous substances through skin contact, inhalation or unintentional ingestion of dust released from the textile fibres. The most vulnerable to exposure from them these substances are pregnant women and small children.

Read more about this on the European Commission website: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/news_en.htm

Adolescents drink less, but alcohol consumption is still dangerously high

A new WHO report: “Adolescent alcohol-related behaviours: trends and inequalities in the WHO European Region, 2002–2014”, provides new insights into data collected over 12 years on adolescent drinking. The report reveals that alcohol use has declined among adolescents in Europe. However, despite the reductions, levels of consumption remain dangerously high and this continues to be a major public health concern.

For more information about the report on  Adolescent alcohol consumption