The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia marks European Antibiotic Awareness Day and World Antibiotic Awareness Week

Studiorum

With a series of events and activities, this year the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia marked European Antibiotic Awareness Day on 18 November and World Antibiotic Awareness Week on 14–20 November.

In anticipation of World Antibiotic Awareness Week, on 3–5 November 2016 in Ohrid professional associations in the field of preventive medicine organized a scientific event called “Days of Preventive Medicine”. Dr Golubinka Boshevska, National Coordinator for Antimicrobial Resistance, gave a talk to over 90 health professionals working in preventive medicine and primary health care about the impending World Antibiotic Awareness Week and the importance of prevention of antimicrobial resistance.

Among its regular awareness-raising activities on rational use of antibiotics, the Studiorum Centre for Regional Policy Research and Cooperation, in cooperation with the Institute of Public Health and the Ministry of Health and with technical and financial support from WHO, organized a series of lectures. These took place in six companies from diverse branches of industry in several cities across the country. They aimed to disseminate the message about the importance of proper and rational use of antibiotics to over 120 employees, who are also parents who need to take proper care of their children’s health. The lectures were given by experts in the field, who also used the opportunity to encourage best practice among the general public to avoid further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.

On 18–19 November 2016, as part of its events to mark World Antibiotic Awareness Week, the Association of Family Medicine Specialists – Respiratory Group and the Centre for Family Medicine – Medical Faculty, Skopje, organized the Second Symposium on Antibiotics in Primary Care. The Symposium’s programme was enriched with discussions  related to the national policies and programmes to improve rational use of antibiotics to prevent antimicrobial resistance, and scientific presentations from practitioners and professors working at the national level, as well as those from other countries including Croatia, Greece, Portugal and Slovenia, with the aim of exchanging experiences in order to improve policies and practices for rational use of antibiotics. The round table organized within the Symposium resulted in conclusions and recommendations for improving policies and regulations. These focused on joint actions of all stakeholders, including health care professionals, the general public, Ministry of Health, health insurance fund and other stakeholders to reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics in primary health care.

The country also actively participated in the Antibiotic Guardian initiative, organizing translation and dissemination of the statements among stakeholders as another way of increasing outreach of the important messages about keeping antibiotics for future generations.