"Urgent measures" are needed to combat the worldwide abuse of antibiotics, the World Health Organization warned today.
The UN Panel has compared data from 65 countries to identify the nations that most often and least distribute the drugs.
Doctors in Mongolia are guilty of prescribing most antibiotics per person, according to WHO analysis. At the other end of the scale, Burundi had the lowest rate in Africa.
Antibiotics have been unnecessarily released by GPs and hospital staff for decades and once fed harmless bacteria to super-ill people.
And countries that use too many, too few or the wrong types of antibiotics can increase the risk that drugs become less effective against common diseases.
Some countries use too many antibiotics while others are not using enough, and the World Health Organization has urged "urgently" to prevent diseases such as pneumonia from becoming untreatable
"The huge difference in the use of antibiotics worldwide shows that some countries are likely to overuse antibiotics," warned the World Health Organization.
"While other countries may not have sufficient access to these life-saving medicines."
Urgent measures, such as the enforcement of over-the-counter prescriptions to reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics, are urgently needed, "said Suzanne Hill, director of the WHO's key medicines division.
The WHO, who wrote the report, warned that both too many and too few antibiotics can contribute to antibiotic resistance.
Europe has an average of 18 defined daily doses per 1,000 inhabitants – while Mongolia has over 64.
This indicates a too high number. Excessive use of medicines allows bacteria and viruses to get used to the drugs they use.
In Burundi, near the Democratic Republic of the Congo, however, the rate is only 4.4 daily doses – suggesting that people do not have adequate access to medicines.
Not having enough can be just as harmful as people can only take half a course, meaning that the survivors will learn the infection.
COUNTRIES USING THE MOST ANTIBIOTICS (daily cans per 1,000 people)
- Mongolia (64.4)
- Iran (38.78)
- Turkey (38.18)
- Sudan (35,29)
- Greece (33,85)
- Serbia (31.57)
- Montenegro (29.33)
- Romania (28.5)
- South Korea (27.68)
- Tanzania (27.29)
COUNTRIES USING THE LITTLE ANTIBIOTICS (Daily cans per 1,000 people)
- Burundi (4.44)
- Brunei (5.92)
- Azerbaijan (7.66)
- Philippines (8.21)
- Uzbekistan (8.56)
- Jordan (8.92)
- Netherlands (9,78)
- Peru (10.26)
- Armenia (10:31)
- Ivory Coast (10.68)
Ms. Hill added, "Excessive use and abuse of antibiotics are the main causes of antibiotic resistance.
"Without effective antibiotics and other antimicrobials, we will lose our ability to treat common infections like pneumonia."
Other countries with a particularly high use of antibiotics are Iran with 39 daily doses per 1,000 inhabitants, Turkey with 38, Sudan with 35 and Greece with 33.
The data is incomplete and covers only 65 countries, with the US, Australia, China and India omitted.
The most widely used drug in the world is amoxicillin – a member of the penicillin family that is the first line of defense, but can already be controlled by bacterial infections such as MRSA.
And some countries are more guilty than others, willing to use emergency drugs. These are stronger versions that should be saved for the failure of frontline medications.
Italy, Spain and Japan are strong users of these drugs, which the WHO believes must be kept for future use.
In Italy, two percent of all antibiotics are taken from the "reserve" category, more than six times as many as in the UK, where there are only 0.3 percent.
|country||Dosages per 1,000 people per day||country||Dosages per 1,000 people per day|
|I ran||38.78||Bosnia and Herzegovina||17.85|