FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Spread awareness, stop resistance—World Antimicrobial Awareness Week theme announced

A Cambodian farmer feeds his fish
20/09/2021 Bangkok, Thailand

The Tripartite of the Food and Agriculture of the United Nations (FAO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization recently announced this year’s theme for the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW). Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance is the new theme with Antimicrobials: Handle with Care still the overarching slogan.

The global event is celebrated from 18-24 November every year and is one of the most important events in the United Nations calendar. It aims to address the global health concern on the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

AMR is the ability of micro-organisms to survive from antimicrobials, which it previously was unable to do. AMR naturally occurs in bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, however, misuse of antimicrobials in humans, animals and plants has hastened its emergence and spread.

The WAAW 2021 campaign encourage stakeholders, including policymakers, human and animal health care providers, farmers and the general public to recognize that everyone can be an AMR awareness champion. Participants are encouraged to spread awareness about what AMR is, share stories about its consequences, and demonstrate how the actions of individuals, families, professionals and communities affect the spread of AMR.

To keep antimicrobials working, we need to be aware and understand what AMR is and its related risks. We all have a personal responsibility to keep practicing personal hygiene and be responsible for using antimicrobials.

Addressing AMR requires global and multi-sectoral coordination, thus, a One Health approach is seen as a logical approach to better address it. Multiple linkages between areas affecting health, food, agriculture and the environment should be considered when policies and laws relating to antimicrobials are drafted, refined and/or implemented

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