World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) is annually observed across the globe from 18th to 24th November to increase awareness of global Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policymakers to avoid the further emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.
The theme of WAAW 2021 is “Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance”.
- The global WAAW campaign is annually coordinated by the AMR Tripartite organizations (the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and World Health Organisation(WHO)).
i.The European Union started its initiative “European Antibiotic Awareness Day” in 2008 which later became a global observance “World Antibiotic Awareness Week(WAAW)” in 2015.
- The first World Antibiotic Awareness Week was observed from 16th to 22nd November 2015.
ii.In May 2020, following the stakeholder’s consultation meeting by the Tripartite Organizations expanded the scope of WAAW and changed its focus from antibiotics to antimicrobials which include antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, antiparasitics.
iii.The Tripartite Executive Committee has also decided to fix WAAW dates to 18th – 24th November every year starting from 2020.
- The first World Antimicrobial Awareness Week was observed from 18th to 24th November 2020.
The observance of the WAAW calls on 1 Health stakeholders, policymakers, health care providers, and the general public to be Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness champions.
i.Antibiotic resistance, one of the biggest threats to global health, is compromising our ability to treat infectious diseases.
ii.Antimicrobial resistance threatens the core of modern medicine and the sustainability of an effective, global public health response to the enduring threat from infectious diseases
Global action plan on antimicrobial resistance:
i.The systematic misuse and overuse of antimicrobial drugs in human medicine and food production will result in a post-antibiotic era in which common infections could once again kill.
ii.To address this issue, in May 2015, the World Health Assembly adopted the Global action plan on antimicrobial resistance.
- To improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance through effective communication, education and training.
- To strengthen the knowledge and evidence base through surveillance and research.
- To reduce the incidence of infection through effective sanitation, hygiene and infection prevention measures.
- To optimize the use of antimicrobial medicines in human and animal health.
- To develop the economic case for sustainable investment that takes account of the needs of all countries and to increase investment in new medicines, diagnostic tools, vaccines and other interventions.
About World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE):
World Organisation for Animal Health formerly the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) is an intergovernmental organisation responsible for improving animal health worldwide.
Director General– Dr Monique Eloit
Headquarters– Paris, France
Members– 182 permanent Delegates