“Antimicrobial resistance is a danger of the utmost urgency. This year will be a pivotal one…We have a global action plan. What we need now is the action

Margaret Chan, WHO Director – General addresses the Executive Board.
Report by the Director-General to the Executive Board at its 138th Session
Geneva, Switzerland. 25 January 2016

Antibiotic Awareness Week takes place each November and is endorsed by the World Health Organization, acknowledging the global importance of this growing public health issue.

All health services and hospitals are encouraged to take part in Antibiotic Awareness Week, to help raise awareness of the problem of antibiotic resistance and ways to address this issue.


Key Messages for Antibiotic Awareness Week

  • Antibiotics are a precious resource that could be lost.
  • Antibiotic resistance is happening now – it is a worldwide problem that affects human and animal health.
  • Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria stops an antibiotic from working effectively – meaning some infections may be impossible to treat.
  • Few new antibiotics are being developed to help solve this problem.
  • Misuse of antibiotics contributes to antibiotic resistance.
  • Whenever antibiotics must be used, they must be used with care.
Get involved

Join the conversation – follow the Commission on Twitter @ACSQHC 

Many clinicians and organisation participate in Twitter discussions during Antibiotic Awareness Week to learn more about the importance of safe and appropriate antibiotic use in addressing the problem of antibiotic resistance and improving patient care.

An annual event on Friday 19 November, is the global Twitter chat coordinated by the European Centre for Disease and Prevention and Control. To keep up to date on the global chat and on topics relevant to Antibiotic Awareness Week, follow the Commission on Twitter @ACSQHC.

Australia’s response to Antimicrobial Resistance – A National Strategy

Antimicrobial resistance involves a complex interplay of environmental, clinical and behavioural factors in humans, animals and agriculture. To achieve real progress, Australia’s response needs to be integrated across all these sectors.

In June 2015, the Australian Government released the first National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy to guide the response to the threat of antibiotic misuse and resistance. The strategy focuses on measures to prevent antibiotic resistance as well as decrease inappropriate use of antibiotics across all sectors where antibiotics are used.

Watch Professor John Turnidge explain the causes and dangers of antimicrobial resistance, inappropriate antimicrobial usage, and what the Commission is doing about it.

The Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard

The Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) Clinical Care Standard aims to ensure that a patient with a bacterial infection receives optimal treatment with antibiotics – the right antibiotic to treat their condition, the right dose, by the right route, at the right time and for the right duration based on accurate assessment and timely review.

Acknowledgement: Each year the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care works with key partners from human health, animal health and agriculture to raise awareness of the problem of antibiotic resistance.  Antibiotic Awareness Week has been supported by the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, the Australian Society for Antimicrobials, the Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control and the Society of Hospital Pharmacists Australia.