Combating Resistance Together: World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2023

November 20 2023

As we navigate the challenges of the 21st century, one of the most pressing global health threats is antimicrobial resistance.

To shed light on this critical issue, the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated this week as World Antimicrobial Awareness Week. Running from November 18th to 24th, the campaign aims to raise awareness about the responsible use of antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents to combat the growing threat of resistance.

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites evolve and become less responsive to the drugs designed to treat them. This phenomenon poses a significant risk to public health, as it can render once-effective treatments ineffective, leading to prolonged illness, higher healthcare costs, and an increased risk of spreading to others.

The theme for this year’s campaign is the same as last year’s, “Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together”.

The World Antimicrobial Awareness Week campaign focuses on several key messages:

  1. Use Antibiotics Wisely: The inappropriate use of antibiotics is a major contributor to antimicrobial resistance. It is essential to take antibiotics only when prescribed by a healthcare professional and to complete the full course as directed.
  2. Prevent Infections: Simple hygiene practices, such as regular handwashing, vaccination, and safe food preparation, can help prevent infections, reducing the need for antimicrobial treatments.
  3. Advocate for Antimicrobial Stewardship: Healthcare professionals play a pivotal role in promoting responsible antimicrobial use. Antimicrobial stewardship programs help ensure that these medications are prescribed only when necessary and in the correct dosage.
  4. Raise Awareness: Spreading awareness about antimicrobial resistance is crucial. The more people understand the implications of misuse, the better equipped they are to make informed decisions about their health.

To actively participate in World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, individuals can explore the resources provided by WHO here and the National Prescribing Service (NPS) Australia here. These platforms offer valuable information, infographics, and educational materials to empower individuals and communities to make a positive impact.

As we confront the challenges posed by antimicrobial resistance on our home soil, it is vital to remember that preserving the efficacy of these life-saving drugs requires a united effort. World Antimicrobial Awareness Week serves as a reminder that each of us has a role to play in safeguarding our health and the health of future generations. Together, we can tackle resistance and ensure a healthier, more resilient Australia.


For more information, visit the NPS Medicinewise website.