Promoting rational use of antibiotics in the former Yugosalv Republic of Macedonia

CRPRC Studiorum

Considering the exceptionally high levels of antibiotic prescription, dispensing and consumption in the former Yugosalv Republic of Macedonia, WHO/Europe is supporting a national campaign to promote rational use of antibiotics. The campaign is part of a larger awareness-raising project on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) initiated and organized by the Ministry of Health, the Health Insurance Fund, the Institute for Public Health and the think tank Centre for Regional Policy Research and Cooperation ‘Studiorum’.

Reaching out to health care professionals and the public

The campaign under the motto “Antibiotics are not your food!” was launched on 26 September 2014 in the City of Veles, jointly with the Municipality of Veles. In the opening address, Dr Aleksandar Kolev, President of the Municipal Council, stressed the importance of collaboration between central and local governments, and the active involvement of all stakeholders in addressing issues that require intersectoral approaches, such as antibiotic use and AMR. Authorities and health professionals, but also citizens, play an important role in preserving the effectiveness of these medicines to fight communicable diseases. The launch was also addressed by high representatives of the Ministry of Health and the Health Insurance Fund, and was attended by over 70 health professionals and health facility managers.

The consumption of antibiotics in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has increased by 11% only in the last six months, according to the country’s Health Insurance Fund. Informative materials for the general population on the need for rational use of antibiotics will be widely distributed, and a series of 10 educational seminars will be conducted, primarily targeting health professionals and epidemiologists in the Centers for Public Health.

AMR in the European Region

Antimicrobial resistance affects the entire WHO European Region. It is a major public health concern as it leads to prolonged illness and a greater risk of death as well as to increased health care expenditures and indirect costs to families and society.

WHO/Europe provides direct support to Member States for the promotion of rational use of antibiotics and prevention of antimicrobial resistance (particularly to non-European Union Member States), through capacity building of health professionals and relevant stakeholders, policy-making, establishing evidence on antibiotic consumption and evaluation of health outcomes.