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WHO World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, 18 – 24 November 2020

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The World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) aims to increase awareness of global antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.

Following a stakeholder’s consultation meeting in May 2020 organized by the Tripartite Organizations (the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and WHO), the scope of WAAW was expanded, changing its focus from “antibiotics” to the more encompassing and inclusive term “antimicrobials”. Expanding the scope of the campaign to all antimicrobials will facilitate a more inclusive global response to antimicrobial resistance and support a multisectoral One Health Approach with increased stakeholder engagement. The Tripartite Executive Committee has decided to fix WAAW dates to 18-24 November every year starting from 2020.The slogan for 2020 will be “Antimicrobials: handle with care” applicable to all sectors. The theme for the human health sector for WAAW 2020 is “United to preserve antimicrobials”.

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 antimicrobial resistance through effective communication, education and training.

The WHO awareness campaign will include:

– Short informative videos, displayed from November 18th on.

– Various activities on social networks, hashtags : #EAAD and #KeepAntibioticsWorking.

The 2019 update of surveillance data related to antibiotic resistance is already available.

You will find it on the ECDC Surveillance Atlas of Infectious diseases.

> More information on the WHO website, and on the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) page dedicated to the European Antibiotic Awareness Day.

> Additional international resources (web pages dedicated to antibioresistance):

World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW)

Worth Organization of Animal Health (OIE)

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

European Joint Action on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare-Associated Infections (also on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram).