ECDC's role

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) decided in 2008 to establish the European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) on 18 November as a platform for providing support to national campaigns across the region.

Following adoption of the European Union (EU) Council Recommendation on the prudent use of antimicrobial agents in human medicine in November 2001, which stated that EU Member States should inform the general public of the importance of prudent use of antimicrobial agents and the success of some national campaigns, such as Belgium and France, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) decided in 2008 to establish the European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) on 18 November as a platform for providing support to national campaigns across the region.

The mandate of ECDC is to identify and assess the risks of communicable diseases for EU citizens and communicate about these risks; this includes the area of antimicrobial resistance. Management of these risks as well as of the factors that contribute to control of communicable diseases are under the responsibility of each EU Member State.

Activities related to this topic at ECDC, take place under the Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare-associated Infections programme. ECDC’s main areas of work include surveillance, epidemic intelligence, developing evidence-based guidance and systematic reviews, training, support to the EU Member States. ECDC also launched, and regularly updates, a directory of online resources for the prevention and control of antimicrobial resistance and healthcare-associated infections to support EU Member States that need to develop national guidelines. Finally, on 18 November each year, ECDC coordinates the European Antibiotic Awareness Day.

Since 2008, numerous health-related and professional organisations, as well as the European Commission and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe), have partnered with ECDC in preparing communications materials and planning activities targeting audiences such as the general public and professionals in hospitals. In addition, more than 43 countries in the European region have had campaigns since that year, all under the EAAD umbrella.

Since 2015, the World Health Organization leads the World Antibiotic Awareness Week, a global campaign taking place on the week of the 18 November. EAAD partners with World Antibiotic Awareness Week