The World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW), also known as World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, is an annual event conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This year, WAAW was celebrated from 18-24 November. The main aim of the event was to increase global awareness of antibiotic or antimicrobial resistance. It also emphasised the importance of following the best healthcare practices to prevent the emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.
History of World Antibiotic Awareness Week
Every year in November, initiatives are taken in many countries around the world to increase awareness about antibiotic resistance. According to experts, prudent use of antibiotics is one of the most important steps to deal with antibiotic resistance. This idea was put forward for the first time in Europe in 2007. After this decision, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) held meetings to discuss the issue and form a proposal for the same. They also decided to develop tools and materials that would be made available to different countries. This initiative was called the European Antibiotics Awareness Day (EAAD).
To take EAAD further, the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched the World Antibiotics Awareness Week (WAAW) in 2015. This was done to raise awareness on a global level and to take necessary steps to check the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. WAAW also encouraged best practices among healthcare workers, public, veterinarians, food producers, and policymakers. The overall campaign emphasised the importance of antibiotics and their use for treating bacterial infections only when prescribed by a certified healthcare practitioner.
WHOsaw antibiotic resistance as arising problem all over the world. Poor standard of living and unhygienic conditions were causing infections and illnesses that were resistant to antibiotics. Hence, in May 2015, this issue was upgraded to an international emergency. According to WHO, new resistance mechanismswere making antibiotics less effective. This made it increasingly difficult to treat tuberculosis, pneumonia, blood poisoning and otherlife-threatening infections.
It is World Antimicrobial Awareness Week.
We need to work together to tackle Antimicrobial resistance.
Spread awareness, Stop resistance.