A global call to action – World Antibiotic Awareness Week

Compliance with infection prevention and control measures and appropriate infection management practices should be integral to good clinical practice and standards of care. However both infection prevention and control measures and appropriate infection management  are often inadequate.

Antibiotic resistance (ABR) has emerged as one of the principal public health problems of the 21st century. This has resulted in a public health crisis of international concern, which threatens the practice of modern medicine, animal health and food security. Although the phenomenon of ABR can be attributed to many factors and a “one health” approach is needed, there is a well-established relationship between antibiotic prescribing practices and the emergence of ABR.

Although most clinicians are aware of the problem of ABR, most underestimate this problem in their own hospital worldwide and inappropriate use of antibiotics and other antimicrobials, as well as poor prevention and control of infections, are contributing to the development of antimicrobial resistance.

It is crucial that clinicians have awareness of the problem of ABR and that understand that using antibiotics inappropriately may increase the likelihood of treatment failures and antimicrobial resistance.

Each November, World Antibiotic Awareness Week (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.

Global Alliance for Infections in Surgery joins WAAW and contributes with a short video shared around the world.

Massimo Sartelli