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Antibiotics are used incorrectly in Belgium, says Health Minister
"The bacterial resistance created by incorrect antibiotic use represents a real danger to public health," warned Health Minister Maggie De Block (pictured) at the launch of the 14th national campaign for the responsible use of antibiotics.
Antibiotics should only be prescribed when absolutely necessary, according to the new awareness campaign, recently launched by the Belgian Antibiotic Policy Coordination Committee (BAPCOC). The committee’s aim is to make the Belgian population aware of the dangers of incorrect antibiotic use via radio spots, leaflets and a comic strip.
"Antibiotics are used incorrectly in Belgium," warned De Block. The minister, who is also a doctor, wants to remind people that antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections and not viral infections such as the flu, colds or bronchitis.
Since the launch of the first awareness campaign in 2000, antibiotic use in Belgium decreased by 36%. But the decline came to a standstill in 2006, putting Belgium at a high sixth place in a European ranking of antibiotic consumption.
Antibiotic use in Belgium is nearly three times higher than, for example, in the Netherlands. As a result, bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant, which poses a real threat to public health, according to Minister De Block.