World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 18-24 November: Spread awareness, stop resistance

9 November, 2021

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'The AMR Tripartite organizations - the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO) - are pleased to announce that the theme of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) 2021 is ‘Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance’. The overarching WAAW slogan continues to be 'Antimicrobials: Handle with Care'. WAAW is celebrated from 18-24 November every year.

'The WAAW 2021 campaign calls on stakeholders, including policymakers, health care providers, and the general public to recognize that everyone can be an Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness champion. Participants are encouraged to spread awareness about what AMR is, share stories about its consequences, and demonstrate how the actions of individuals, families, professionals, and communities affect the spread of AMR.'

'Key facts

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health and development threat. It requires urgent multisectoral action in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

WHO has declared that AMR is one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity.

Misuse and overuse of antimicrobials are the main drivers in the development of drug-resistant pathogens...'

'The main drivers of antimicrobial resistance include the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials; lack of access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for both humans and animals; poor infection and disease prevention and control in health-care facilities and farms; poor access to quality, affordable medicines, vaccines and diagnostics; lack of awareness and knowledge; and lack of enforcement of legislation...'

COMMENT (NPW): The information needs of prescribers and users of medicines (including antibiotics) continue to be unmet. As WHO reported several years ago, ‘Globally, most prescribers receive most of their prescribing information from the pharmaceutical industry and in many countries this is the only information they receive.’ There is no evidence that the situation has substantially improved.

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator,