By Ayodeji Matuluko
Every year the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) to increase awareness of the global public health threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
AMR is the ability of microorganisms to develop mechanisms that protect them against antimicrobial medicines, i.e. antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antiparasitics. There has been an increase in AMR over the years, due to increased inappropriate use of antimicrobials across different sectors, such as healthcare, in agriculture and in the environment. It has been predicted that rising antibtiotic-resistant infection rates could lead to 10 million deaths each year by 2050.
WAAW is celebrated every year from 18-24 November. Each year the SHIP team joins the rest of the world to celebrate WAAW and raise awareness about the consequences of AMR. This year’s WAAW theme is ‘Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance’. #WAAW2021
With an increased focus on a multi-sectoral approach to AMR, WHO calls on One Health stakeholders, policymakers, health care providers and the general public to be AMR Awareness champions. The One Health approach to AMR recognises the interconnectedness of animal health, human health and environmental health as important in addressing the key drivers of AMR across different sectors globally.
The SHIP team has prepared an interesting campaign to support global WAAW2021 activities this year by focusing on one of the aims in this year’s campaign which is to “share personal stories to ‘humanise’ AMR as a health threat affecting individuals, families and communities today”.
We have interviewed various members of the SHIP research group and their family members, some of our colleagues at Glasgow Caledonian University, and other experts in the field who we collaborate with. Each video is a short recorded clip of each person sharing what AMR means to them, either in the context of their work/career or in their personal life.
You can follow us on Twitter to watch each video shared during the WAAW campaign week: https://twitter.com/shipgcu
In addition, the WHO is encouraging everyone to ‘Go blue for AMR’ during #WAAW2021 to further spread awareness on AMR in our workplaces and in the community. Join the campaign here and share why you have chosen to ‘Go Blue’ with your friends and families, and on social media: https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-antimicrobial-awareness-week/2021/go-blue-campaign