Every year, World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) is celebrated in an effort to highlight best practices for the general public, healthcare professionals, and policymakers to help stop the spread of antibiotic resistance. WAAW promotes global education on antibiotics, antibiotic usage, and prevention of antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic resistance is a growing public health concern across the globe. The persistent overuse and misuse of antibiotics have begun to encourage the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) worldwide, threatening our ability to fight off common infectious diseases and support medical procedures.
Facts on Antibiotic Resistance:
- Not all infections are treatable with antibiotics. Antibiotics don’t cure viruses like the flu or the common cold.
- Overusing antibiotics can cause bacteria to become resistant.
- At least 30% of the antibiotics in U.S. outpatient settings are prescribed unnecessarily.
- Each year in the U.S., more than 2.8 million infections are resistant to antibiotics and more than 35,000 people die as a result.
- In 2016, 1/4 of healthcare facilities worldwide didn’t have basic water services, and 21% had no form of sanitation.
Tips to Prevent Antibiotic Resistance
- Properly use antibiotics. Only take antibiotics when they’re prescribed. Do not skip doses. Do not save antibiotics. Do not take antibiotics prescribed for someone else.
- Washing your hands is one of the most effective ways of reducing the spread of antibiotic-resistant organisms.
- Wash your food before you eat it. Foods like meat, vegetables, and fruits can become contaminated if not stored and handled properly. Learn how to safely handle, cook, and prepare your food to prevent diseases.
- More than 1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are acquired every day worldwide. However, practicing safe sex and wearing a condom can keep you protected from STIs.
- Use clean water. Poor sanitation is linked to the transmission of diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, and hepatitis A, and it puts the overall safety of patients at risk.
Spreading awareness of antimicrobial resistance is the first step in reducing AMR across the globe. In 2015, The World Health Organization’s enacted its global action plan to prevent and treat infectious diseases with safe and effective antibiotics in 5 steps:
- Improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance.
- Strengthen knowledge through surveillance and research.
- Reduce infections.
- Optimize the use of antimicrobial agents.
- Develop the economic case for sustainable investment that accounts for the needs of all countries, and increases investment in new medicines, diagnostic tools, vaccines, and other interventions.
This week, join us in spreading awareness of antibiotic resistance in an effort to make the world a safer place. Share this blog and what you’re doing to help prevent antimicrobial resistance in your community.
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