This week is World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, a WHO initiative to raise awareness for a serious public health threat: antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Antibiotics are an important tool in effectively treating infections, including maternal and neonatal sepsis. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in response to the use of these medicines. As a result, the medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others.
To prevent and control the spread of antibiotic resistance, healthcare providers can:
- Prevent infections by ensuring hands, instruments, and environment is clean.
- Only prescribe and dispense antibiotics when they are needed, according to current guidelines.
- Report antibiotic-resistant infections to surveillance teams.
- Talk to patients about how to take antibiotics correctly, antibiotic resistance and the dangers of misuse.
- Talk to patients about preventing infections (for example, vaccination, hand washing, safer sex, and covering nose and mouth when sneezing).
You can learn more about World Antimicrobial Awareness Week and download information and tools here.