A 24-hour global twitter “conversation” is planned for European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD), November 18, to raise awareness about the “prudent use of antibiotics”.
The event is timed to coincide with the first World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) which will run from November 16-22. Organised by the World Health Organization (WHO), WAAW will operate under the slogan “Antibiotics: Handle with Care”.
WHO has also called for individuals, governments, and health and agriculture professionals to urgently take action to address antibiotic resistance (AMR).
The stated aim of EAAD, which is being coordinated by the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC), is to raise awareness about the prudent use of antibiotics while also providing a platform and support for national campaigns.
At the same time, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) in Northern Ireland has urged “everyone with responsibility for livestock” to play their part helping to reduce AMR.
The call, carried on the DARD website, sits alongside information about becoming an “antibiotics guardian”.
“Antimicrobial drugs have played an important role in managing the health of both humans and animals for more than 60 years,” said DARD. “They inhibit the growth or kill micro-organisms. Both overuse and inappropriate use of antimicrobial drugs contribute to the development of AMR.
“Everyone with responsibility for livestock has a role to play in helping to reduce AMR. It is important to prevent diseases by implementing good herd or flock health, practising good bio-security practices and providing good nutrition, hygiene and good farm management.
“If it is necessary to treat animals it is important they are treated early and to use the right medicine, at the right dose for the correct duration.”