World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2020
The World Health Organization (WHO) along with healthcare authorities worldwide are initiating the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week from 18-24 November. WHO has declared that Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) is one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity. AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites mutate over time and no longer respond to medicines making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of infection spread, severe illness and death. The main causes of antimicrobial resistance include the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials; lack of access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for both humans and animals; poor infection and disease prevention and control in health-care facilities and farms; lack of awareness and knowledge; and lack of legislations enforcement. The clinical pipeline of new antimicrobials is dry. In 2019, WHO identified only 32 antibiotics in clinical development that address the WHO list of priority pathogens, of which only six were classified as innovative. According to WHO, “The cost of AMR to the economy is significant. In addition to death and disability, prolonged illness results in longer hospital stay, the need for more expensive medicines and financial challenges for those impacted”.
- “Antimicrobial Resistance”. World Health Organization, 2020, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/antimicrobial-resistance. Accessed 19 Nov 2020.