The World Health Organization (WHO) warned today of a dangerous increase in antibiotic consumption in some countries, but also low consumption in other regions, which can lead to the death of "superbugs".
The WHO report, based on the 2015 data collected in 65 countries and regions, shows a significant difference in consumption from 4 defined daily doses (DDD) per 1000 inhabitants per day in Burundi to more than 64 in Mongolia.
"These differences suggest that some countries are likely to consume too many antibiotics, while others may not have sufficient access to these drugs," the WHO said in a statement.
Discovered in the 1920s, lAntibiotics saved tens of millions of lives effectively combat bacteriological diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis and meningitis.
However, Over the years, bacteria have been engineered to withstand these drugs.
The WHO has warned on many occasions that the number of effective antibiotics is decreasing in the world.
Last year, The UN agency called on states and large pharmaceutical groups to create a new generation of drugs capable of fighting ultra-resistant "superbakteria".
"Excessive consumption and inadequate antibiotic consumption are the main causes of resistance to antimicrobial agents," said Suzanne Hill, director of the WHO Medicines and Basic Health Products.
"Without effective antibiotics and other antimicrobials, we will lose our ability to treat infections as widespread as pneumonia," he warned.
Bacteria can become resistant when patients use antibiotics they do not need, or when they do not complete treatment. Bacteria therefore have a greater ability to survive and develop immunity.
But WHO also worries about the low consumption of antibiotics.
"Resistance can develop when patients can not afford full treatment or only have access to better or changed medicines," the report said.
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In Europe, the average consumption of antibiotics is approximately 18 DDD per 1 000 inhabitants per day. Turkey leads the list (38 DDD), which is about 5 times more than the last one in Azerbaijan (8 DDD).
However, the WHO recognizes that its report is incomplete because it includes only four countries in Africa, three in the Middle East and six in the Asia Pacific region. In addition, the large absence of this study is the United States, China and India.
Since 2016, WHO has helped 57 low- and middle-income countries to collect data to create a standardized antibiotic monitoring system.