World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) is a global campaign celebrated annually from 18 to 24 November, in order to improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and among the public.
AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines become ineffective and infections become increasingly difficult or impossible to treat. Researchers estimated that AMR in bacteria caused an estimated 1.27 million deaths in 2019.
On this page, The World Health Organization (WHO) explains what antimicrobial resistance is and provides resources for organisations wanting to take part in WAAW 2022.