Antibiotic awareness week

Last month World Antibiotic awareness week was promoted globally. The following was sent out to promote awareness of this week


World Antibiotic Awareness Week is an annual, global event that raises awareness of the serious health issue of antibiotic resistance. The event encourages people around the world to use antibiotics responsibly.

Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today. Antibiotic resistance can affect anyone, of any age, in any country. Antibiotic resistance occurs naturally, but misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals is accelerating the process.

A growing number of infections – such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and gonorrhoea – are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them become less effective.

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in response to the use of these medicines.

Bacteria, not humans or animals, become antibiotic-resistant. These bacteria may infect humans and animals, and the infections they cause are harder to treat than those caused by non-resistant bacteria.

Antibiotic resistance leads to higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays, and increased mortality.

The world urgently needs to change the way it prescribes and uses antibiotics. Even if new medicines are developed, without behaviour change, antibiotic resistance will remain a major threat. Behaviour changes must also include actions to reduce the spread of infections through vaccination, hand washing, practising safer sex, and good food hygiene.

Prescribing data indicate that antibiotics are frequently prescribed in situations that are not consistent with evidence-based guidelines, and the antibiotic type being prescribed is sometimes not optimal. Moderate or broad-spectrum antibiotics are being prescribed more often than narrow-spectrum agents.

Practice points

Carefully consider if a health condition is self-limiting before antibiotics are prescribed: Antibiotics are not recommended as routine therapy for acute otitis media, acute tonsillitis, acute sinusitis or acute bronchitis, all of which mostly resolve on their own.

When antibiotics are necessary the narrowest-spectrum antibiotic at the appropriate dose and duration should be prescribed: Consult relevant guidelines for appropriate dose and duration depending on the site and type of infection, and choose the narrowest-spectrum antibiotic to treat the likely pathogen.


The following resources are available to help you promote antibiotic awareness week:

There is also online learning modules that are available through NPS medicine wise.:

Additional information is available via the WHO website:

Posters and additional resources are available via the WHO website plus local information is available here:



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