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Home  »   Latest News   »   PDA calls on pharmacists to support World AMR Awareness Week 2023

PDA calls on pharmacists to support World AMR Awareness Week 2023

The PDA is supporting World AMR Awareness Week (WAAW) and is encouraging pharmacists to get involved in the campaign and become antibiotic guardians.

Fri 17th November 2023 The PDA

WAAW which runs from 18 – 24 November 2023, is an annual, global campaign that aims to improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance and encourage best practice.

This new PDA initiative stems from a collaborative partnership with the British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC). The partnership was created through the work of the PDA in the Medicines to Ukraine campaign which led to a request from the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, to provide assistance and advice on how to prevent the spread of AMR which has been exacerbated by the effects of the war.

The role of pharmacists as antibiotic guardians

Because of these activities, it has become apparent that there is an increase in the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance now making its way across Europe. Wherever a humanitarian crisis occurs, healthcare systems breakdown and the challenges of AMR increase. The spread of AMR ultimately presents challenges in all our healthcare systems and communities.

Antimicrobial stewardship programmes are an important component in combatting the global threat of AMR and to support the responsible use of these vital medicines. Pharmacists, wherever they work, can and do play a critical role in this area. As experts in medicines, pharmacists have extensive knowledge of antimicrobial treatments which enables them to ensure that patients receive the right medicine at the right dose for the right duration, and so improving the chances of a successful outcome.

The scale of the problem

A report from EDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) and WHO (World Health Organisation) confirmed that across Europe the number of patients infected by resistant bacteria is increasing and that antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health. Antimicrobial resistance surveillance in Europe 2022[1] which is based on 2020 data, highlighted that “more than 670,000 infections occur in the EU/EEA due to bacteria resistant to antibiotics, and that approximately 33,000 people die as a direct consequence of these infections. The related cost to the health-care systems of EU/EEA countries is estimated to be around €1.1 billion.

Join the campaign

In collaboration with BSAC, the PDA has put together a simple information and resource pack for members to consider. Members can expect to hear more about what they can do from the PDA during w/c 18 November.

The theme for WAAW 2023 is ‘preventing antimicrobial resistance together’, as well as raising awareness, the PDA is calling for pharmacists to show their support by pledging to become antimicrobial guardians. Campaign resources are available below:

  • Further details on ECDC’s EAAD campaign including posters and infographics can be found here.
  • Click here to find out about campaigns across Europe.
  • Click here to access WAAW/EAAD toolkits and resources to run local campaigns in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Free training and resources

The PDA encourages pharmacists to join the BSAC, an internationally renowned organisation in this field with a commitment to scientific excellence. BSAC membership is open to all scientists and healthcare professionals – the majority of members are pharmacists. Membership is free and the PDA’s partners at BSAC provide a varied programme of events, training and free educational resources.  Learn more here.

[1] Antimicrobial resistance surveillance in Europe

Learn more

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