Antibiotics use in Turkey to be lowered further: Health minister
The Turkish government’s efforts have reduced the number of antibiotics prescribed by 10 percent in the last five years, and this decrease will continue at an increasing rate in 2019, the health minister said on Nov. 17.
“We are targeting the daily consumption of antibiotics, which was 35.3 per 1,000 in Turkey last year, to be reduced to 34 in 2019,” Fahrettin Koca told state-run Anadolu Agency in the capital Ankara.
The minister made the remarks to mark European Antibiotic Awareness Day, which takes place on Nov. 18 each year to raise awareness about the threat to the public health of antibiotic resistance.
To stop people from using overusing antibiotics, the ministry has initiated a campaign called “Smart use of antibiotics,” said Koca.
As part of the campaign, public service announcements explaining the negative effects of the misuse of antibiotics are broadcasted on TV and banners are posted in public areas that read, “Be insistent on your health, not antibiotics,” the minister said.
He also said doctors that prescribe antibiotics too often have been determined and have been given relevant training regarding the issue.
“As a result of the awareness campaigns, antibiotics, which were included in 35 out of every 100 prescriptions in 2011, were written in 25 [out of every 100 prescriptions] last year,” Koca said.
In 2011, approximately 10 percent of personal medicine expenditure was spent on antibiotics, whereas in 2017, this figure was marked at 5 percent, he said.
Meanwhile, according to Health Ministry data, the highest antibiotics consumption was reported in Turkey’s southeastern region in 2017, with the Mardin province at the top of the list.
On the other hand, consumption of antibiotics was the least respectively in the northwestern province of Edirne, the Central Anatolian province of Yozgat and the northeastern province of Artvin.