World Antibiotics Awareness Week (WAAW)

Sangita Thangjam
World Antibiotics Awareness Week (WAAW) is global awareness of antibiotic resistance to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. It was endorsed at the World Health Assembly in May 2015. The global action plan aims to ensure prevention and treatment of infectious diseases with safe and effective medicines. It is celebrated every year from 18 to 24 November since 2015 with the theme “Antibiotics: Handle with care”.
Antibiotics are precious resource, so it is important to get the right advised before taking them. This will ensure that you and your family get the best treatment while minimizing antibiotic resistance. The future of antibiotic depends on all of us .Misuse of antibiotic puts us all at risk. Antibiotic resistance is occurring everywhere in the world, affecting the treatment of infectious diseases. Though the antibiotic resistance occurs naturally, but misuse of antibiotic in humans and animals is accelerating the process. A large number of infections are becoming difficult to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them become less effective now. Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them speeds up antibiotics resistance. Antibiotic resistant infections are more complex and harder to treat. They can affect any one of any age in any country. We all have to play in preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics by preventing the spread of infections and changing how we prescribe and use these medicines. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the biggest health challenges and India finds itself at the centre of this public health emergency. India has high rates of resistance to antimicrobial agents used in humans and animals. At the global level, AMR has touched scary proportions: about 7 lakh  die due to it each year and 10 million more projected to die from it by 2050. It is said that AMR kills more people than cancer and road traffic accidents together. The need of the hour is to emphasize on and reinforce hygiene in community settings and strict infection control.
The writer is Consultant Microbiologist & Chairman Infection Control Committee, Shija Hospitals & Member AMR, Technical Committee, Manipur