ECDC's Director, Zsuzsanna Jakab, today addressed an EU Conference hosted by the Czech EU Presidency on "The microbial threat to patient safety in Europe". In her speech, she stressed that the frequency and the way we use antibiotics is the most important single determinant of antibiotic resistance, and that infection control is paramount for the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections and the spread of resistant microorganisms. This EU Conference followed the 6th meeting of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Focal Points which prepared technical discussions of these issues.
In support of the European Commission and the Member States, the ECDC is offering to strengthen surveillance of healthcare-associated infections and to prepare guidance for prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections, as well as providing country support. Furthermore, through the European Antibiotic Awareness Day, the ECDC is contributing to national awareness raising about the threat to public health posed by antibiotic resistance and the importance of rational antibiotic use.
The Czech EU Presidency conference was held in close cooperation with ECDC, WHO, as well as the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID). The conference brought together top-leved experts and over 150 senior decision makers from across Europe. Mrs Jakab thanked the Czech EU Presidency for organising this conference and for its hospitality.
The Czech EU Presidency is addressing the issue of patient safety, including the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections, in the context of the Commission's proposal for a Council Recommendation on Patient Safety which will be discussed at the EPSCO Council in June 2009.
Zsuzsanna Jakab's presentation
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