Antibiotics Awareness Day activities in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Video for European Antibiotics Awareness Day emphasizing the importance of taking antibiotics only when prescribed by a doctor

To mark the European Antibiotics Awareness Day on 18 November 2013, various awareness-raising activities will take place in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. A video developed for this occasion on the rational use of antibiotics will be launched at a press conference, where WHO/Europe will also disseminate additional information on this topic. The video illustrates the key message that antibiotics are not always needed, and that they should only be taken when prescribed by a doctor.

In addition, a one-day training workshop will be conducted on implementation of European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) guidelines. The aim of the training workshop will be to inform microbiologists on implementation of the protocols and strategies recommended as part of the EUCAST guidelines.

For this purpose the EUCAST guidelines have been translated into Macedonian and shared with the relevant microbiological laboratories in the country. This activity will contribute towards standardizing antimicrobial susceptibility testing in the country with other countries across Europe and assure the quality of antimicrobial susceptibility test results.

Regional and national action

WHO provides ongoing support to national health authorities in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on implementation of the WHO European Strategic Action Plan on Antibiotic Resistance.

Successful containment of antibiotic resistance ultimately depends on improved knowledge and responsibility by health care providers in prescribing and dispensing antibiotics, as well as on patients’ compliance. National education initiatives and behaviour change campaigns have been conducted also in the past as part of the European Antibiotic Awareness Day celebration (18 November) and will be continued throughout the next biennium.

Antibiotic resistance is a complex issue involving many sectors of government and society. The development and implementation of a national action plan requires engagement of different sectors of the health care system. The WHO Regional office for Europe and the WHO Country Office in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will continue to support the country to implement activities in this area throughout the 2014–2015 biennium.