World Antibiotic Awareness Week

unnamed16-22 November: 16 November 2015 marks the launch of the first World Antibiotic Awareness Week to raise awareness of best practice for using antibiotics and reduce the risks of bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics and to prolong their effectiveness.

The responsible and prudent use of antibiotics, in both people and animals, is crucial, not only in the interests of human health but also for animal health and animal welfare. To mark this special week, the OIE is making publicly available a dedicated internet portal, along with new posters and infographics, to enable national authorities, veterinarians, breeders and animal owners to take a more effective role in counteracting the major threat to public health posed by antimicrobial resistance.

Antibiotics are essential for treating bacterial diseases. However, their misuse can result in the emergence of bacteria resistant to their action. Today, it only takes a few hours for a bacterium to travel across the planet, and a few minutes more to form a colony of thousands.

With our knowledge that 60% of human pathogens came originally from animals, it is clear that bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics pose a serious threat to the treatment of both animal and human diseases throughout the world.

The Awareness Week is aimed at alerting the international community to the health risks posed by antibiotic resistance and to promote best practice by all those involved in this area, to limit the emergence and spread of resistant bacteria.

For more than ten years, the OIE has actively worked to promote the appropriate use of antibiotics in animals and has published intergovernmental standards in this field, in close collaboration with its international network of experts. These standards, updated in May 2015, have been adopted by all of the OIE’s 180 Member Countries, which have undertaken to implement them in their own territories. These standards also form the foundation of the OIE’s considerable contribution to the development of the veterinary component of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance.

OIE is making a number of communication tools freely available, through its new web portal on antimicrobial resistance, to promote best practice for the use of antibiotics in animals. Aimed particularly at those involved in animal health and production, it presents the problems caused by antimicrobial resistance and describes the activities of the OIE and its partners in this area.

For further details, please visit: http://www.oie.int/en/for-the-media/amr/

-Source: OIE

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