World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) 2019 started November 18 and runs through November 24 under the theme: “The future of antibiotics depends on all of us,” the Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), said on Wednesday.
The week is being observed all around the world with the intent to increase awareness so all persons can be attentive on the use of antibiotics.
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi.
PAHO: “Antimicrobial resistance happens when microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites) change when they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials, and anthelmintics).”
Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance is a global concern because new resistance mechanisms are emerging and spreading globally, threatening our ability to treat common infectious diseases, resulting in prolonged illness, disability, and death.
In 2016, 490 000 people developed multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis globally, and drug resistance is starting to complicate the fight against HIV and malaria, as well.
Antimicrobial resistance is an increasingly serious threat to global public health that requires action across all government sectors and society.
Medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others.
Without effective antibiotics, the success of major surgery and cancer chemotherapy would be compromised.
Each November, WAAW aims to increase global awareness of antibiotic resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).