Global Antibiotic Awareness Week

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Image by license via BigStockPhoto.com
Image by license via BigStockPhoto.com

Antibiotics are sometimes revered as one of humankind’s greatest discoveries. Thanks to antibiotics, the lives of billions of people have been saved.  The ubiquity of antibiotics in our everyday lives has resulted in complacency when it comes to their use. This has resulted in their overuse and accelerated the evolution of bacteria in their quest to survive these antibiotic attacks.  An unprecedented number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria have arisen and we are seeing the fall out now.

The ubiquity of antibiotics in our everyday lives has resulted in complacency

Individuals are getting infected with bacteria that cannot be treated with our typical arsenal of antibiotics.  Doctors have resorted to treating antibiotics with incredibly aggressive antibiotics and combinations of them, to which bacteria will inevitably develop a resistance. Adolescents, seniors, and immunocompromised people are especially at risk because their natural immune response cannot fight back (WHO, 2015).

As a world, we have the opportunity to fight back now before we reach the point of no return.  With the introduction of the world’s first Antibiotic Awareness Week, we set into motion a global education program that will salvage these significant resources to protect future generations from serious threats. Led by the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Health Assembly brought together the world’s preeminent scientists to identify the factors that have caused this predicament, and what can be done (WHO, 2015).

As a world, we have the opportunity to fight back now before we reach the point of no return.

Throughout this week, InfectionControl.tips will provide a guideline to the steps that the World Health Assembly has set forth as the priorities for combatting antimicrobial resistance.

The goal of Global Antibiotic Awareness Week will be to:

1) Improve global understanding of antibiotic resistance

2) Promote advancements in research and surveillance to improve our understanding of antimicrobial resistance

3) Decrease the use of antibiotics by decreasing infections

4) Promote the responsible use antibiotics only when required

5) Create an understanding of the true dangers of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms, and provide evidence for the need of countries to invest into development of new medication, vaccines, and other advances to combat this pandemic situation.

Additional Resources:

World Antibiotic Awareness Week (2015)
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/events/2015/world-antibiotic-awareness-week/en/

World Health Organization (2015)  Global Action Plan on Antmicrobial Resistance.  http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/193736/1/9789241509763_eng.pdf

European Antibiotic Awareness Day (2015)
http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/EAAD/Pages/Home.aspx

Center for Disease Control (2015)
http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/week/overview.html

Antibiotic Awareness (2015)
http://antibioticawareness.ca/

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Andrew Duong
With over 7 years of research experience, Andrew joins InfectionControl.tips as a co-editor and contributing author. After obtaining his Bachelor of Science in Genetics, he earned a Master of Science in Microbiology from the Michael DeGroote Institute of Infectious Disease Research at McMaster University. As a previous Ontario Graduate Scholar, he has applied his accolades as a teaching assistant and has become a research associate in the department of surgery at Hamilton Health Sciences. Andrew has received numerous awards and scholarships including: the Ontario Graduate Scholarship, the William Henry Yates Travel Scholarship and the Institute of Infectious Disease Research Undergraduate Research Award. Andrew is an avid runner, and is said to dabble in the culinary arts, when he’s not spoiling his dog.

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