The World Health Organization's (WHO) World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) aims to increase awareness of antibiotic resistance as a global problem, and to promote best practices among the general public, health workers and policy-makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.
Since their discovery, antibiotics have served as the cornerstone of modern medicine. However, the persistent overuse and misuse of antibiotics in human and animal health have encouraged the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance, which occurs when microbes, such as bacteria, become resistant to the drugs used to treat them.
As part of preparations for the 2019 Awareness Week this November, a group of senior leaders from across the health system, including NHS England and Improvement, have co-signed a letter, coordinated by Public Health England, that reminds commissioners and providers alike of their responsibility to contribute to this important agenda. The letter also reminds colleagues that this year’s WAAW campaign is the first of a new five-year UK National Action Plan for antimicrobial resistance, which contains stretching ambitions for reducing inappropriate prescriptions; as well as controlling and preventing infections.