World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

It’s that exciting time of year again!

For World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2020 (WAAW), the World Health Organisation has selected the slogan “Antimicrobials: Handle with care.

United to preserve antimicrobials.” You will notice that we now talk in terms of “antimicrobials” rather than “antibiotics” because we recognise that resistance in organisms other than bacteria (such as fungi, viruses and parasites) is important too.

Since World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2019 the world has changed dramatically and we have become distracted by a different global infectious disease threat. We had not heard of COVID-19 a year ago and 2020 has become the year the world learned about respiratory viruses other than ‘flu, “PPE”, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and what scientists do in labs all day. We have also all become armchair epidemiologists and developed our own views on how the world should deal with this pandemic.

Joking aside, it is time to remind our team of 5 million to step up to another challenge and be #UnitedToPreserveAntimicrobials. The threat of drug-resistant infection has not gone away, Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) is as important as it ever was, and we need to continue to use antimicrobials responsibly.

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