Overuse of antibiotics

29 June 2016

A hot topic session to take place in Poznan will focus attention on overuse of antibiotics, "one of the world's most pressing public health problems" according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Dr Dan Meyer, Advisor to the FDI Science Committee, will discuss national and international programmes to help prevent bacterial resistance and the role of the dental practitioner in professional and political actions to improve antibiotic stewardship. He will also look at how to minimize the risk of bacterial resistant threats to patients.

Prof. Michael Glick, Dean at the University at Buffalo’s School of Dental Medicine, will focus on how the use of antibiotics may be harmful to the public and how over-prescription of antibiotics may cause antibiotic resistance. He will also outline the prescriber's responsibility in the use of antibiotics in dentistry.

Antibiotics are indispensable in medical and dental care but their overuse has engendered antibiotic resistance, today a growing public health concern worldwide. It is a priority area for the World Health Organization, within the broader context of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), in the words of WHO Director General Dr Margaret Chan “a slow-motion disaster”.

WHO adopted a Global action plan on antimicrobial resistance in May 2015. It outlines five objectives:

  • to improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance through effective communication, education and training;
  • to strengthen the knowledge and evidence base through surveillance and research;
  • to reduce the incidence of infection through effective sanitation, hygiene and infection prevention measures;
  • to optimize the use of antimicrobial medicines in human and animal health; and
  • to develop the economic case for sustainable investment that takes account of the needs of all countries and to increase investment in new medicines, diagnostic tools, vaccines and other interventions.

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