Preventing antimicrobial resistance together
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines become ineffective and infections become increasingly difficult or impossible to treat.
Researchers estimated that AMR in bacteria caused an estimated 1.27 million deaths in 2019. A global action plan to tackle the growing problem of resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines was endorsed at the Sixty-eighth World Health Assembly in May 2015. One of the key objectives of the plan is to improve awareness and understanding of AMR through effective communication, education and training.
World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) is a global campaign that is celebrated annually to improve awareness and understanding of AMR and encourage best practices among the public, stakeholders and policymakers, who all play a critical role in reducing the further emergence and spread of AMR.
This year, the theme of WAAW is "Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together." The World Health Organisation calls on all sectors to encourage the prudent use of antimicrobials and to strengthen preventive measures addressing AMR, working together collaboratively.