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Why Greece is champion in over consumption of antibiotics

Although the discovery of antibiotics is one of the most important medical breakthroughs, their abuse is a problem with social implications and unfortunately Greece ranks first among European countries in their consumption.

This is pointed out by the pediatrician-infectious disease specialist at the Special Infections Unit of the A’ Pediatric Clinic of the Thessaloniki University, Eleni Papadimitriou, in an announcement she will present on the “Use and abuse of antibiotics in Pediatrics”, in an event organized by the Pharmaceutical Association of Thessaloniki (May 22-23).

“Abuse means an unnecessary, inappropriate, and not optimal choice of antibiotics. It occurs during the practice of Medicine in the community but also in the health structures and concerns the treatment but also the prevention of infections. The most common infections for which children take antibiotics are infections of the upper (flu, common cold, pharyngitis, otitis, acute rhinosinusitis) and lower respiratory tract (bronchiolitis, bronchitis, pneumonia).

Among the reasons for over-consumption of antibiotics, Ms. Papadimitriou mentions are:

– the false impression of parents that antibiotics are a panacea for any disease, resulting in either giving them to children without the prescription or advice of a doctor, or putting pressure on doctors and pharmacists to obtain them,

The poor doctor – patient relationship and

Until recently the lack of a legal framework.

“The treatment of common pediatric infections is based on guidelines, which, when followed, ensure the proper use of antibiotics. The most important question to be answered before starting treatment is whether the patient really needs an antibiotic and if so, what, at what doses, and for how long. Only by thinking rationally will we be able to reduce their overconsumption, which leads to the development of super-resistant pathogens, from which human lives are endangered. In this direction, the state and health professionals must come together for the best possible result “, Ms. Papadimitriou points out.