World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2021: Spread awareness, stop resistance
Each year, November 18 to 24 marks World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, an initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the World Health Organization to increase awareness about antimicrobial resistance globally and encourage best practices to avoid the further emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections. This year’s theme is Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance.
Antimicrobial resistance is an urgent public health and international development issue
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is eroding the effectiveness of the life-saving antibiotics that our health-care and agricultural systems rely upon. AMR kills an estimated 700,000 people a year. It significantly impacts populations in low- and middle-income countries, especially in settings where its spread is facilitated by factors such as poor hygiene and sanitation, limited access to adequate health-care infrastructure, and a lack of or inability to enforce regulations relating to AMR. Given the severity and extent of the problem, failing to stop the spread of AMR could jeopardize progress towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Antimicrobial resistance and animal health
Globally, the amount of antimicrobials purchased for use in animal production is almost double that purchased for use in humans. Large-scale misuse of antimicrobials fosters the development of resistant pathogens, which can spread to humans from animals directly and indirectly, for instance through exposure to livestock infected with AMR pathogens or through contaminated meat.
What is IDRC doing?
IDRC supports initiatives across human and animal health that focus on the needs of populations in low- and middle- income countries, including:
InnoVet-AMR, a partnership between IDRC and the UK Department of Health and Social Care’s Global AMR Innovation Fund to accelerate the development of locally-appropriate and innovative alternatives to antimicrobials for use in food animal production
the Joint Programming on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR), an international partnership engaging 28 nations and the European Commission, which coordinates national research funding and supports collaborative action to fill knowledge gaps. IDRC has supported JPIAMR’s call on diagnostics and surveillance for countries in Asia and provided CAD2 million in support of interventions to prevent or reduce the development and transmission of AMR in Southeast Asia.
How you can engage with World Antimicrobial Awareness Week and learn more about AMR
This year’s theme encourages everyone to spread awareness to stop resistance. Here are some places to start:
Listen and share the Innovating Alternatives podcast with friends, family, colleagues and collaborators to learn more about AMR and how IDRC is contributing to innovations for food animal production
Tweet using the hashtags #WAAW #AntimicrobialResistance #AMR #HandleWithCare and feel free to tag @Livestock_IDRC to share your thoughts on this issue