APUA-Greece has approximately 50 members and is affiliated with the Hellenic Society of Infectious Diseases, Hellenic Society of Chemotherapy and the National Nosocomial Infection Control Committee. The chapter completed and published a hospital case study on antibiotic policy which was included in the document Antibiotic Resistance: Synthesis of Recommendations by Expert Policy Groups. The chapter, along with the Greek National Food and Drug Administration, started a big campaign against over-the-counter sales of antibiotics and encourages more prudent use of antibiotics in the community. Three public service announcements on the subject were shown on 25 television channels and a survey to determine the efficacy of the campaign was distributed widely among the public. The goals of the chapter are to spread the message of proper antibiotic use through research and education. They are particularly concerned about the resistance patterns within Greece and are trying to encourage alternative antibiotic use policies in the community and the hospital in order to facilitate positive change. In an effort to make gains in this area, the chapter is working with the Ministry of Health to encourage prescribers to adopt the "pharmacy antibiotic order form" for 3rd and 4th generation antibiotics and then audit the results.
APUA-Greece was officially established in 1999. Its members are infectious disease experts, medical personnel and physicians who are primarily hospital-based. The chapter is collaborating with groups such as the Hellenic Society for Infectious Diseases, Hellenic Society for Chemotherapy and Hellenic Drug Organization (the Greek FDA).
APUA-Greece is involved in surveillance programs collecting data on antibiotic use and resistance patterns in hospitals as well as prevalence of nosocomial infections. Chapter members participate in the multinational programs European Study Group on Antibiotic Policies (ESGAP), European Study Group for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance (ESGARS), European Study Group on Nosocomial Infections (ESGNI), the Alexander Network, INSPEAK and the European Commission working group on antibiotic resistance. Surveillance is also carried out at national and local levels.
The chapter hopes to curtail antibiotic overuse in hospitals and verify the quality of antibacterial agents orders in a representative sample of Greek hospitals, work with the Ministry of Health to encourage prescribers to adopt the "pharmacy antibiotic order form" for 3rd and 4th generation antibiotics, and to audit results and organize several scientific meetings.
- To increase awareness of the problem of antimicrobial resistance as a public health issue and its correlation with the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in both hospitals and the community.
- To monitor resistance and consumption of antimicrobials in hospitals and the community, including animal husbandry and agriculture.
- To establish and implement an antibiotic policy program in hospitals and the community.
- To implement effective infection control hygiene measures in hospitals.
Chapter Achievements & Ongoing Activities
During the past 1½ years, a bundle of initiatives has been undertaken by the Ministry of Health and the Hellenic Center for the Control and Prevention of Diseases (HCDC/KEELPNO) with the formation of the Antimicrobial Resistance Task Force, which targets both components of the problem, the nosocomial and the community. All relevant greek Medical Societies have been implicated in this effort, namely: the Hellenic Society for Infectious Diseases, the Hellenic Society for Chemotherapy and the Hellenic Society of Clinical Microbiology. A certain amount of this effort has been directed from the European Center for Diseases Prevention and Control (ECDC) and our commitment to achieve the goals set by the European Union has impeded us from being more active with the APUA Hellenic branch. However, after the sensitization of the greek community on resistance issues and antibiotic policies, on the occasion of the European Antibiotic Awareness day next November, the Hellenic Society for Chemotherapy plans to create a new working group dealing with Antibiotic Policies in the Community, which will act in co-operation with the Hellenic APUA branch.