World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) 2022

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) is a global campaign aiming to increase the understanding of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and promote best practices to reduce the emergence and spread of drug-resistant pathogens.

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness, and death.

Taking place between 18 and 24th November 2022, this year’s campaign theme is `Preventing antimicrobial resistance together` which asks all sectors to consider the sensible use of antimicrobials and to strengthen preventive measures addressing AMR, working together collaboratively through a One Health approach.

Inappropriate use of antibiotics impacts the NHS today. Infections caused by antibiotic-resistant pathogens are associated with repeat primary care consultations, more hospital admissions, longer lengths of stay, and increased mortality. The global burden of bacterial AMR has recently been estimated at almost 5 million deaths associated with, and 1.27 million deaths directly attributable to AMR each year.

Hitesh Patel, Pharmaceutical Adviser at Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust said:

`Raising awareness of the risks of antimicrobial resistance is very important

'Many infections like coughs and colds are caused by viruses, so antibiotics are not effective. Ask your pharmacist for advice and over-the-counter medicines

‘If you are prescribed antibiotics take them exactly as advised and don’t share them with family and friends

`Now more than ever we need to continue working together to avoid inappropriate antibiotic prescribing and do our part to reduce antimicrobial resistance`