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WAAW 2023 / Global action to tackle the problem of AMR


World AMR Awareness Week (WAAW) 2023, 18 - 24 November, a global initiative to raise awareness and encourage action to tackle the emergence and spread of drug-resistant pathogens, is starting today

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses a threat to humans, animals, plants, and the environment, and it affects everyone. The theme for WAAW 2023, maintained from 2022 is: "Preventing antimicrobial resistance together". The theme emphasizes the need for a One Health approach involving multiple sectors to preserve the efficacy of antimicrobials. Addressing AMR requires collective efforts from all levels of society, as the main drivers of AMR are the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials. Therefore, adopting a whole-of-society and multi-sectoral approach is essential to address this global issue effectively. 

To effectively reduce AMR, all sectors must use antimicrobials prudently and appropriately, and take preventive measures to decrease the incidence of infections. The following actions can help reduce the need for antimicrobials and minimize the emergence of AMR: 

  • strengthen infection prevention and control in health facilities, farms and food industry premises; 
  • ensure access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene, and vaccines; 
  • minimize pollution and ensure proper waste and sanitation management; 
  • access to quality assured healthcare for all; and 
  • access to advice from experts during animal, food and agricultural production. 

Codex and its role in AMR 

Foodborne AMR is a food safety issue. Codex texts outline the steps and policies that decision-makers should take to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in the food trade. Improved management of foodborne AMR can be accomplished through activities described in the Codex AMR texts. 

Codex has developed three core texts on foodborne AMR to provide a framework for addressing AMR along the food chain: 

  • The Guidelines for risk analysis of foodborne antimicrobial resistance enable countries to identify issues specific to their own contexts, establish priorities and implement targeted interventions; 
  • The Guidelines on the integrated monitoring and surveillance of foodborne AMR outline key components and considerations to offer flexible options; 
  • The Code of practice to minimize and contain foodborne antimicrobial resistance presents underlying principles to be applied and effective strategies for responsible and prudent antimicrobial use, preventing infections and reducing the need for antimicrobials. 

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is implementing the “Action to support implementation of Codex AMR texts (ACT)” project. The ACT project works globally and locally to address foodborne AMR through the implementation of Codex AMR texts, with a particular focus on Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Cambodia, Colombia, Mongolia, Nepaland PakistanThe countries are implementing many activities during WAAW 2023, including an awareness walk in Pakistan, seminars for agriculture and veterinary students in five universities in Cambodia and a breakfast meeting for journalists in Mongolia.  


Learn more: 

World AMR Awareness Week 2023: Get Involved

Foodborne antimicrobial resistance: Compendium of Codex standards