WHAT IS ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE?

Bacteria can cause infections in both humans and animals. Sometimes antibiotics are needed to combat infections. However, the excessive use of antibiotics can result in bacteria surviving treatment and lead to persistent infections. This makes treatment of future infections using antibiotics less effective. Easily treated conditions, such as bladder infections, or recovery after knee surgery, can potentially become life-threatening. Another problem is the incorrect use of antibiotics in situations where they are not actually needed in the first place.

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HOW COULD I BE AFFECTED?

Resistant bacteria spread in all sorts of ways, including direct contact with animals or other people, in hospitals, or while travelling. Becoming a carrier of resistant bacteria with the potential of an infection is also possible via food, for example after consuming (undercooked) meat from animals that carry resistant bacteria.

WHAT CAN I DO?

  • Only use antibiotics if the doctor says it's necessary. You should therefore always discuss it first with a doctor, even if you are abroad.
  • Only take the prescribed daily dose at the indicated time. Do not skip a dose.
  • Never stop antibiotic treatment by yourself. It is sometimes possible to stop early, but you must first discuss this with a doctor.
  • Do not use left-over antibiotic or third-party antibiotics. A doctor must assess with each infection whether or not antibiotic treatment is necessary, which antibiotics are suitable and how long the treatment should be.
  • Always wash your hands after visiting the toilet.
  • Wash your hands before preparing food and before eating.
  • Wash your hands after contact with a pet.

WHAT IS THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT DOING TO COMBAT ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE?

Antibiotic resistance is a problem with a broad scope. The British government is taking measures to address all areas where human health is being threatened by resistant bacteria in cooperation with various stakeholders. Further information about the approach to antibiotic resistance may be found here.

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EURHEALTH-1 HEALTH PROJECT

The ‘EurHealth-1Health – Euregional Antibiotic Resistance and Infection Prevention’ project focuses on one of the greatest challenges facing the healthcare sector today: combating life-threatening infections caused by multidrug-resistant microorganisms. Strong efforts must be made to combat the development of antibiotic resistance. This is only possible via an integrated ‘1Health’ approach, as the health of people and animals are directly connected and affected by the environment. Where infectious diseases are concerned, it has become clear that there is a direct relationship between the health of people and animals. The same multidrug-resistant microorganisms and the associated problem of antibiotic resistance occur in both human and animal populations. The use of antibiotics in people and animals leads to the release of antibiotics into the environment, creating a potential reservoir of antibiotic resistance in sewage systems and surface water. Collaboration across borders and sectors is therefore essential. The governments of Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and the Netherlands have all recognised the importance of addressing this issue. These regions are working towards preventing antibiotic resistance and infections due to multidrug-resistant microorganisms through intersectoral collaboration within various cross-border 1Health initiatives. Human and veterinary medical experts from both countries are combining their expertise in this project by promoting cross-sector education and training, and jointly working towards maintaining and improving public health.

If you wish to know more about the EurHealth-1Health project, please visit our website
If you wish you receive our EurHealth-1Health Newsletter, please click here.
Please note that information about this project is only available in Dutch and German.
The EurHealth-1Health project is part of the INTERREG programme Deutschland-Nederland and is financially supported by the European Union and the following institutions:
 
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