Every infection prevented is an antibiotic treatment avoided. World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2017 focuses on the role of healthcare workers in reducing antibiotic resistance

10 Nov 2017

The week of 13-19 November 2017 marks the third World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW).

The theme of this year’s WAAW, as developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and promoted by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, is the crucial role of healthcare workers in reducing antibiotic resistance in hospitals and other healthcare settings through infection prevention and control measures.

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are one of the most common adverse events in care delivery, and a large proportion of HAIs are caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria that require treatment with last-line antibiotics. Effective infection prevention and control measures are simple, yet fundamental, steps to prevent HAIs, prevent patient-to-patient transmission of multidrug-resistant bacteria, and therefore contribute to preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics.

European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) partners with WAAW to increase global awareness about prudent use of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance. On 15 November, ECDC will organise an event in Brussels to celebrate the 10th EAAD, with participation from representatives from the WHO Regional Office for Europe; the event will feature an exhibition of materials from antibiotic awareness campaigns that were carried out by EU/EEA countries in the past 10 years.

A social media campaign called #KeepAntibioticsWorking has been launched by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), calling all EAAD/WAAW stakeholders and members of the general public to share a message explaining what they do, in their personal or professional life, to keep antibiotics working.