Every year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) dedicates one week to promoting the correct and responsible use of antimicrobials and raising awareness for antimicrobial resistance.
Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites show resistance against the effects of antimicrobial medication, thus making common infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of transmission. Factors such as the overuse of medicines in humans, livestock and agriculture are key in the acceleration of antimicrobial resistance worldwide.
The World Antimicrobial Awareness week aims to encourage best practice among not only healthcare workers, but also policymakers and the general public in order to avoid the emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.
Isabel Oliver, director of National Infection Service at Public Health England said:
“It’s worrying that more infections are becoming resistant to these life-saving medicines. Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them can have grave consequences for you and your family’s health, now and in the future.”
For further information, please see the WHO’s campaign.