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Turkey tops WHO’s highest antibiotic use list in Europe: report

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Turkey has ranked the highest in antibiotics use at over 38 defined daily doses (DDD) per 1,000 people in Europe, where the average antibiotic consumption was 17.9 DDD per 1,000 inhabitants per day, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, the Hürriyet Daily News reported on Tuesday.

The report, titled “Report on Surveillance of Antibiotic Consumption,” showed that Mongolia’s total antibiotics and pharmacological consumption was the highest of all among the countries surveyed, at 64.41 DDD per 1,000 people.

The large difference in antibiotic use worldwide indicates that some countries are probably overusing antibiotics while other countries may not have sufficient access to these life-saving medicines, said the report, adding that WHO’s European region had an almost fourfold difference between the lowest and highest-consuming countries in the region.

In a report published in 2017, WHO suggested that the consumption of antibiotics in Turkey is among the highest across the WHO European region and that antibiotic use is a major driver of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

“The average resistance proportions in Turkey, Korea and Greece [about 35 percent] were seven times higher than in Iceland, Netherlands and Norway, the countries with the lowest proportions [about 5 percent],” the report noted.

At least one in three medical prescriptions in Turkey includes antibiotics, a board member at the Turkish Clinical Microbiology and Epidemic Diseases Association (KLİMİK) said in October of last year.

Prof. Dr. Önder Ergönül warned that immune systems are increasingly adapting to higher doses of antibiotics.

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