Celebrating the Philippine Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified education and awareness campaign as fundamental strategies in the Global Action Plan to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR). In relation to this, the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) is being observed and celebrated every third week of November worldwide to increase awareness of global antimicrobial resistance and encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.

The Tripartite Organizations, i.e., Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and WHO has designated the dates November 18-24 to be the week-long celebration of WAAW every year. The Philippines, as one of the forefront WHO member states actively fighting against AMR, has been participating in this global activity through the celebration of the Philippine Antimicrobial Awareness Week (PAAW) since 2015.

As in previous years, the overall one-health slogan for AMR awareness and WAAW is “Antimicrobials: Handle with Care.” Meanwhile, the global theme for WAAW 2021 is “Spread awareness, stop resistance.” This theme encourages stakeholders across all sectors to be AMR Awareness champions by engaging and actively participating in AMR campaign activities and spreading awareness on AMR to their families, communities, and/or places of work.

In the Philippines, as we celebrate the WAAW this year, we will be adopting the local theme, “Kaalaman ay Dagdagan, Antimicrobial Resistance sa Gitna ng COVID-19 Pandemya ay Labanan.” Antibiotic overuse in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic may potentially exacerbate the AMR situation in the country and may put stewardship efforts at risk. With this theme, we engage stakeholders across all relevant sectors to raise awareness on AMR and to increase recognition of the important roles that they play to encourage behavior change towards the prudent and rational use of antimicrobials in order to mitigate the unintended long-term consequences associated with antibiotic overuse during the pandemic and to avoid future pandemic of AMR.

For more information on this year’s campaign, visit: www.facebook.com/doh.paaw.

With your continuous support and cooperation, this campaign will further promote public awareness on AMR and the important role that each of us have to play and contribute in tackling AMR and combatting it through one health approach.