Together We Can Improve How We Use Antibiotics and Antifungals
Posted On: November 18, 2022
From November 18 through November 24, TATFAR joins World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW), a global campaign to raise awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance (AMR or AR). The theme of WAAW 2022 is “preventing antimicrobial resistance together.”
Antimicrobial resistance occurs when germs change over time and no longer respond to the drugs designed to kill them, making infections hard to treat. This includes antibiotics and antifungal drugs. Resistant germs can spread between people, animals, and the environment, and can cause deadly infections. Stopping spread is a key action to protect people and slow development of antimicrobial resistance, along with preventing infections in the first place and improving antibiotic and antifungal use. Additionally, these drugs are prescribed unnecessarily and misused, this additionally threatens their effectiveness.
Antibiotics do not work against COVID-19 because antibiotics do not treat infections caused by viruses. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear—prevention is preparedness. We can help combat antimicrobial resistance with prevention-focused public health actions, including:
- Educating healthcare providers and patients
- Accurate laboratory detection
- Rapid response and containment
- Effective infection prevention and control
- Expanding innovative strategies, like alternatives to antibiotics and antifungals, new vaccines to combat infections that can develop antimicrobial resistance, and novel decolonizing agents to stop the spread of antimicrobial-resistant germs by people who may not know they are carriers
You can help improve prescribing and use of antibiotics and antifungals. This WAAW, join TATFAR in the global social media relay on Friday, November 18, using #AntimicrobialResistance and #WAAW. TATFAR members will also support the WHO’s “Go Blue for AMR” campaign by encouraging colleagues to light buildings blue throughout the week and use blue teleconference backgrounds to spark conversations.
We must all continue to take responsible action to protect these important drugs so that they remain effective for people and animals—using the right antibiotic or antifungal, at the right time, dose, and duration.
Read about other TATFAR members activities and check their websites to get involved.
The Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans are working together to promote WAAW. Activities planned include:
- Sharing messages on social media and on Canada.ca from government leaders:
- Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos
- Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Dr. Theresa Tam
- Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Howard Njoo
- Posting on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook
- Participating in the Go Blue for AMR campaign lighting various Canadian landmarks, including the CN Tower, Niagara Falls, Ottawa’s Heritage Building, and Vancouver’s Canada Place
- Sharing reports and articles, including the Canadian Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (CARSS) 2022 Report
- Leading and participating in webinars
- November 17:
- Canadian National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey (NAPS) – Preliminary Data
- Promoting the appropriate use of antimicrobials
- Reducing AMU and AMR: Promised alternatives to antibiotics in poultry
- November 18:
- Barriers and opportunities for addressing antimicrobial use in animals
- Investigation of the best practices in swine feeding and manure management to mitigate antimicrobial resistance and use – November 18
- November 23: Living Antibiotic Wise: A Case for Community Antimicrobial Stewardship
- November 24:
- Duration of antimicrobial therapy through a stewardship lens
- The environmental dimensions of AMR and the link to human health
- Application of Behavioural Insights to antimicrobial stewardship
- November 17:
European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) is an annual European health initiative, coordinated by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and in partnership with WAAW, that takes place on November 18. The latest data confirms that, across the European Union, the number of patients with infections caused by resistant germs is increasing and that antimicrobial resistance is a major threat to public health. You, too, can participate in EAAD!
- Find a toolkit for media with summaries of the latest data, FAQs, and social media cards and videos
- Watch videos addressing the misconceptions about antimicrobial resistance and antibiotics.
- Explore the interactive map on the ECDC website showcasing national resources and social media ambassadors
- Discover how EU citizens use antibiotics, where they obtain them from and why, and how much they know in the latest Eurobarometer survey
ECDC, together with the European Commission and the WHO Regional Office for Europe, are releasing data and epidemiological reports on antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial consumption, as well as updated estimates of the health burden of antimicrobial resistance. The European Commission will also publish the results of its 2022 Eurobarometer survey of Europeans on antimicrobial resistance. The European Medicines Agency will promote the week on its website and share info-cards on social media, in particular Twitter and LinkedIn. Finally, continuing collaboration with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will provide opportunities to learn more about the economic burden of antimicrobial resistance.
Norway’s support of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week includes holding a national conference on antimicrobial resistance and infection prevention control and other activities to ensure prudent use of antibiotics in health care services. Additionally, on November 18, experts from Norway will present the outcomes and future paths of their National Action Plan on AMR and IPC in Sao Paulo, Brazil at the 2nd Resistpart Symposium.
U.K.’s national themes for WAAW 2022 include:
- Friday, Nov 18: Prevention, including infection prevention and control measures and vaccination
- Monday, Nov 21: Antimicrobials in clinical practice
- Tuesday, Nov 22: Optimizing diagnostics to increase understanding of established and innovative methods to detect infections
- Wednesday, Nov 23: Antimicrobials and untrue or spurious allergy, including issues such as untrue penicillin allergy labels and de-labelling spurious antibiotic allergy labels
- Thursday, Nov 24: antimicrobial resistance and the environment/sustainability and research, such as disposal of antibiotics and environmental contamination
The U.K. Health Security Agency and Veterinary Medicines Directorate encourage individuals, partners, and organizations to participate in WAAW:
- Share on social media using hashtags: #AntibioticGuardian #KeepAntibioticsWorking #WAAW2022
- Visit the national toolkits for WAAW
- Read the annual English Surveillance Programme for Antimicrobial Utilization and Resistance (ESPAUR) report, published on Nov. 17, which includes national data on antibiotic prescribing and resistance, antimicrobial stewardship implementation, and awareness activities
- Join more than 170,000 others in becoming an Antibiotic Guardian
- Read about the short-listed entries for the Antibiotic Guardian Shared Learning and Awards (AGSLA), which will be announced during WAAW (the AGSLA event was initiated in 2016 to acknowledge, celebrate, and share learning of work of healthcare professionals across UK and abroad in tackling antimicrobial resistance)
- Learn more about e-Bug, which will reach out to local authorities, schools, and community groups through a webinar, blog, and social media to connect the importance of preventing infections and antimicrobial resistance
- Use resources collated in the national toolkitsfor their local WAAW activities
- Read and attend a webinar on November 23 about the annual English Surveillance Programme for Antimicrobial Utilization and Resistance (ESPAUR) report, published on Nov. 17, which includes national data on antibiotic prescribing and resistance, antimicrobial stewardship implementation, and awareness activities
Additionally, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), Animal and Environmental Health will collaborate with colleagues and partners to share information about improving antibiotic and antifungal use on Twitter, including highlighting the annual UK Veterinary Antibiotic Sales Surveillance and Resistance. Read VMD’s blog about the role VMD and UK’s farming industry have played in reducing antibiotic usage since 2014.
U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week (USAAW) is an annual one-week observance that raises awareness about the importance of appropriate use of antibiotics and antifungals and the threat of antimicrobial resistance. Federal U.S. agencies, including the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA); the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID); and the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) will participate in the week using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. CDC will also host several activities throughout the week and encourages partners to help spread the word and to get involved!
- Download and share:
- USAAW Partner Toolkit for social media, graphics, and more
- Be Antibiotics Aware partner toolkit
- Effective Communication Toolkit for nursing homes [PDF – 3 Pages]
- Materials for community pharmacists
- Spark conversation on social media: #AntimicrobialResistance, #USAAW22, #BeAntibioticsAware, #WAAW
- Mark your calendars for upcoming webinars and podcasts:
- CDC’s AMR Exchange Webinar: Addressing Health Inequities by Strengthening Antibiotic Stewardship, Tues. Oct 25 10-11:30 am (recording forthcoming)
- CDC/HRSA Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Webinar: 4 Moments of Antibiotic Decision Making in Critical Access Hospitals, Wed. Nov 16 3-4 pm
- American Society of Health-System Pharmacists podcast: Be Antibiotics Aware: Pharmacists Leveraging the NHSN AU option (Recording available on November 19)
- Check out the latest CDC materials and resources on antibiotic/antifungal use and antimicrobial resistance