‘Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance’ has been agreed as the theme for the 2021 World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO), together known as the AMR Tripartite. The overarching slogan of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week continues to be ‘Antimicrobials: Handle with Care‘ WAAW is celebrated from 18-24 November every year.
Spread awareness, stop resistance
The WAAW 2021 campaign will encourage 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. Campaign resources will be available in the coming weeks.
AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines. This makes infections harder to treat and increases the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. Measures to prevent infection include getting vaccinated, practicing safer sex, good hand hygiene, food safety practices, and increasing availability of water and sanitation facilities.
AMR is a complex problem affecting human, animal, plant and environmental health. Therefore, addressing AMR requires a holistic and multisectoral approach – referred to as a One Health approach. By designing and implementing multi-sectoral programmes, policies, legislation and research across human, terrestrial and aquatic animal and plant health, food and feed production and the environment, AMR can be effectively addressed to achieve better One Health outcomes. Everyone has a role to play.