handle antimicrobials with care

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2021: Spread awareness, reduce resistance

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, or WAAW, is a global event held every year between 18 – 24 November. The event aims to raise awareness about antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the importance of keeping antimicrobials working.

The origins of WAAW can be traced back to 2008 and the first European Antibiotic Awareness Day, organised by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). In 2012 the initiative was extended to non-European Union countries and across the globe in 2015 to become World Antibiotic Awareness Week. In 2020 the name of the event was updated to World Antimicrobial Awareness Week to emphasize the importance of all antimicrobial drugs, not just those to treat bacterial infections.

Given that resistant bugs (bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses) don’t respect international boundaries or need a passport for travel, it is crucial that the world works together to combat AMR.

AMR is not just a problem for human health either. Antimicrobial agents are used in animal health, agriculture and the environment, known in the AMR trade as the One Health Agenda. We need to work together across these very different sectors to support best practice when it comes to using antimicrobials appropriately.

WAAW has something for everyone! Follow the UNA Health social media channels for ideas about how to get involved and for resources and tools.