Antibiotics are powerful tools that have helped us tackle many diseases like pneumonia, scarlet fever and tuberculosis, which earlier claimed lives by the thousands. But today, these wonder drugs have been misused and turned into a bane instead of a blessing. Unrestricted use of antibiotics has made them powerless against the very diseases they once fought. Bacteria have become increasingly resistant against them. And doctors warn, if the abuse of these drugs continues, humanity will regress to the times when antibiotics didn’t exist, a scary prospect indeed. To generate more knowledge about these powerful drugs and to curb their misuse, World Antibiotics Awareness Week (WAAW) is celebrated each November. This year, between 12 and 16 November, the Global Action Plan (GAP) of WAAW focuses on five strategic issues related to antibiotics usage.
November 12, 2018 – Awareness and Behaviour Change
The objective of day one of WAAW is Awareness and Behaviour Change, intended to create better awareness of antibiotic resistance through effective communication, education and training. It focuses on helping people understand about the how and the why of antibiotic resistance and the risk it poses to our health.
November 13, 2018 – Surveillance and Research
Day two of WAAW focuses on Surveillance and Research, meant to mobilise labs of every country to look for signs of bacterial resistance and how it’s spreading. What Causes Black Hairy Tongue? Side-effects of Antibiotics Treatment Leaves a Woman with This Benign Condition.
November 14, 2018 – Infection Prevention and Control, WASH and the Environment
On day three, the focus of WAAW is on preventing infection through better sanitation and hygiene to prevent antibiotic dependence and abuse. It directs all hospitals and health-care centres to do their best to keep infection and other sanitation-related problems at bay.
November 15, 2018 – Optimising Use of Antimicrobials
Antibiotics are used extensively for treating diseases not only in humans, but also in animals. On day four, the GAP of WAAV focuses on using antibiotics effectively and as wisely as possible, ensuring they are given only to the ones who need them, and regulating how they are distributed.
Watch How to Handle Antibiotics with Care:
November 16, 2018 – Investment and R&D
On day five and the final day of WAAW, the message is to develop economic cases for sustainable investment that takes into account what each country needs to fight the bane of antibiotic resistance. The GAP aims to create investment in new medicines, diagnostic tools and vaccines to increase other interventions.
There are two predominant themes for World Antibiotics Week: “Think twice. Seek Advice” and “Misuse of Antibiotics puts us all at Risk.” All through the week, WAAW will work towards encouraging participants to incorporate these two important messages around the discussion of antibiotic resistance.