About World Antimicrobial Awareness Week(WAAW)-
- It aims to increase awareness of global antimicrobial resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.
- The theme for 2021 is “Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance”.
- The primary tagline for WAAW is ‘Antimicrobials: Handle with Care.’
- During WAAK, ‘Go Blue’ campaign intends to raise awareness on AMR.
- By ‘going blue’, individuals, workplaces, landmarks, and communities will help to spread awareness about antimicrobial resistance.
- For the first time, the concept of WAAW was proposed in 2007 in Europe.
- Following this resolution, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) convened meetings to explore the issue and develop a plan.
- The European Antibiotics Awareness Day was the name given to this project (EAAD).
- To address AMR, the World Health Organization spearheaded the development of a Global Action Plan on AMR (GAP-AMR) which was approved in 2015.
- The goal of GAP-AMR is to ensure, for as long as possible, continuity of successful treatment and prevention of infectious diseases with effective and safe medicines that are quality-assured, used in a responsible way, and accessible to all who need them.
- On 22 October 2015, WHO launched the Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System (GLASS), the first global collaborative effort to standardize AMR surveillance.
- In April 2017, India was amongst the first nations to have launched the National Action Plan for AMR for 2017 to 2021.
What are antimicrobials?
Antimicrobials – including antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antiparasitics – are medicines used to prevent and treat infections in humans, animals and plants.
What is antimicrobial resistance (AMR)?
- It is the ability of a parasite to survive and/or multiply despite the administration and absorption of a drug given in doses equal to or higher than those usually recommended but within tolerance of the subject.
- It 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.
- WHO has declared that AMR is one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity.