Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) represents a major global threat across human, animal, plant, food, and environmental sectors. In 2019, it was estimated that almost 5 million deaths were associated with bacterial AMR, including 1.27 million deaths being directly caused by it. Addressing AMR requires a holistic and multi-sectoral approach referred to as a One Health approach.
In 2015, countries adopted a Global Action Plan on AMR. Its first objective is improving awareness and understanding of AMR through effective communication, education, and training. Organizing a global annual awareness campaign was identified as an activity to contribute to this objective. Thus, an annual campaign was established to raise global awareness and understanding on AMR, while serving as an important example of One Health collaboration. This campaign was known as World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW).
Today, the Quadripartite organizations – the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) – are pleased to announce the rebranding of WAAW as World AMR Awareness Week.
Two global consultation meetings were convened by the Quadripartite to discuss this rebranding. There was broad agreement and support to this change from stakeholders across the globe and different sectors. “AMR” includes the term “resistance”, which better represents the challenge that we are facing. The acronym will remain “WAAW”, while all expansions of this acronym will now be re-branded as “World AMR Awareness Week.”
Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together: WAAW Theme 2023
The theme for WAAW 2023 will remain “Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together”, as in 2022, following an extensive online survey among stakeholders from the human, animal, plant, and environmental health sectors to collect feedback for a campaign theme.
AMR is a threat to humans, animals, plants and the environment. It affects us all. This is why this year’s theme calls for collaboration across sectors to preserve the efficacy of these critical medicines. Fighting AMR is a truly global endeavour and must be addressed through a One Health approach.
WAAW is celebrated from 18 to 24 November every year.