The World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) is observed globally from 18-24 November with an aim to raise awareness of the health risks posed by antimicrobial resistance (AMR), promote good practices, and limit its spread across the world. This year’s theme is “Antimicrobials: Handle with care”.
Antimicrobial agents are medicines used to treat or prevent infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses or fungi. Antimicrobial agents, including antibiotics, have substantially reduced the burden of diseases in human and animals, and contributed to improved food production and safety. However, emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in several microorganisms is complicating the management of many infectious diseases. AMR is known to be caused by misuse, overuse or inappropriate use of antimicrobials in human, animals and plants. It occurs when bacteria change to protect themselves from an antimicrobial agent. Antimicrobials that previously would have killed the bacteria, or stopped them from multiplying, no longer work. It is a threat to disease control throughout the world and is a primary concern for human and animal health. Resistant pathogens may get transmitted from food producing animals to humans through food. AMR also adversely affects the functioning of human, animal and plant health systems and economies, and is considered as one of the biggest global threats.
Hence, a strong inter-sector collaboration is needed to preserve the efficacy of antimicrobials by ensuring their prudent use in humans, animals, or plants.
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