World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 18-24 November
Antibiotic Guardian and Keep Antibiotics Working campaigns, European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) and World Antimicrobial Awareness Week are major public health initiatives that aim to encourage responsible use of antibiotics and tackle the global issue of antimicrobial resistance.
Antimicrobials – including antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antiparasitics – are medicines used to treat infections in humans, animals and plants. All around the world bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites are changing and starting not to respond to the medicines used to treat the infections they cause. This antimicrobial resistance emerges naturally, usually through genetic changes. However, the overuse and misuse of antimicrobials have accelerated the development of antimicrobial resistance, as has a lack of clean water and sanitation and inadequate infection prevention and control. This makes infections harder to treat, which increases the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.
The rise of drug-resistant pathogens threatens to undo more than a century’s work of health progress and undermine the very foundations of modern medicine. For example, bacterial infections resistant to antibiotics could make vital medical procedures like organ transplants, joint replacements, cancer care, and care of preterm infants too dangerous to perform. AMR can affect anyone, of any age, in any country. Antimicrobial resistance also affects and is affected by animals and the environment.
To find out more, watch this video from the Antibiotic Guardian Campaign and visit www.antibioticguardian.com
Watch this catchy jingle from Public Health England and share it with your family and friends. Talk to your family and friends about antibiotic resistance, and the fact that we don’t always need antibiotics when we are ill.
Complete the Antibiotic Guardian Quiz.pdf [pdf] 237KB with your family to check your understanding of antimicrobials and antimicrobial resistance.
Explore the Public Health England e-bug programme resources with your family. These include games, quizzes and animated films to teach your children / grandchildren about microbes, antibiotics, hand and food hygiene and much more.