Each year, toward the tail end of November, World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) or World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, takes place. The weeklong event aims to raise awareness of global antimicrobial/antibiotic resistance (AMR) and promote best practices among healthcare professionals and the general public. This year’s event is set for November 18-24.

This year’s event, following the decision of stakeholders in May, will move away from focusing solely on antibiotics and encompass it all under, antimicrobials. The expansion of the focus will serve as more of an inclusive global response and recognition. The initiative will follow a theme of ‘United to Preserve Antimicrobials’, while the slogan will be, ‘Antimicrobials: Handle with Care’.

MedPro medical technologists and laboratory scientists working in the clinical environment are on the frontlines when it comes to combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. They are also the educators, not the media, when it comes to viruses that have gone viral, like with the flu, common cold and, of course, the novel coronavirus. These essential workers are risking their health and seeing, first-hand, what COVID-19 is capable of. In stemming the tide, nurses advocate for sensible diagnoses for patients.

The World Health Organization (WHO) launched a WAAW social media campaign last year in helping spread awareness of human bodies rejecting antibiotics, under the ‘One Health’ moniker, which represents stopping disease from crossing over between humans, animals and vice-versa. The One Health approach states that humans, animals and environmental health cannot be separated. In fact, some antimicrobials used to treat infection in animals are the same as those used for humans and, as a result, 60% of all human diseases actually originate in animals.

For more antimicrobial awareness education materials, find them via the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) site, HERE.

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