The World Health Organization ranks antimicrobial resistance (AMR) among the top 10 worldwide public health problems.

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Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a condition in which bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites become resistant over time and stop to respond to antibiotics, making infections more difficult to cure and increasing the risk of disease transmission, severe sickness, and death.

In other words, drug resistance makes it harder or impossible to treat diseases and renders antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs ineffective.

AMR: A Threat to Patient Safety

Antibiotic resistance is a worldwide issue that has spread to all settings of healthcare and is getting worse every year. Antibiotic effectiveness is in danger due to the worldwide rapid growth of resistant microorganisms. Misuse and overuse of antibiotics, and inadequate infection prevention and control, all contribute to the acceleration of antibiotic resistance. 

“Antimicrobial resistance has been described as a hidden pandemic and it’s important that we do not come out of Covid-19 and enter into another crisis.” – Dr. Susan Hopkins, the Chief Medical Advisor at the UKHSA

Statistical Analysis-An Overview

According to the most recent data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), there were 2.2% more serious antibiotic-resistant infections in England in 2021 than there were in 2020. (53,985 compared to 52,842). This equates to 148 serious antibiotic-resistant infections each day in 2021. 

Between 2017 and 2021, the overall antibiotic use in England decreased by 15.1%, from 18.8 Daily Defined Doses (DDD) per 1,000 inhabitants per day to 15.9. This indicates that England has surpassed the government’s National Action Plan target of a 15% prescribing reduction from a baseline in 2014 by 2024. However, unless we continue to use antibiotics prudently and continue to reduce infections, in particular, this downward trend might not be sustained. 

Professor Dame Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of UKHSA, said:

Antibiotic resistance is not a distant problem that we can ignore – infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria are killing thousands of people every year in this country and globally, having a huge economic impact. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a pivotal moment to maintain focus on the ‘silent pandemic’ of antibiotic resistance through our extensive surveillance and antibiotic stewardship activities.

Raising Awareness, Saving Lives

To prevent the emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections, World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) is a global campaign that aims to raise awareness of antimicrobial resistance around the world and promote best practices among the general public, healthcare professionals, and policymakers. During the Covid pandemic, antibiotic resistant bloodstream infections fell.

“It is likely that Covid-19 restrictions in 2020 including enhanced infection, prevention and control measures … played a part in driving down antibiotic resistance and prescribing. While these measures were severe, serious antibiotic-resistant infections will rise once again if we don’t act responsibly and that can be as simple as regular and thorough hand washing.” – Dr. Susan Hopkins, the Chief Medical Advisor at the UKHSA

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) takes place every year from 18 to 24 November. This year, the theme of WAAW was “Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together.”Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses a risk to people, animals, plants, and the environment. Hence, each of us is impacted. To maintain the effectiveness of these essential medications, this year’s theme encourages cross-sector cooperation. Fighting AMR requires a One Health approach since it is truly a global endeavor.

All sectors must work together to effectively combat it and promote preventive measures along with the appropriate use of antimicrobial. For reducing the need for antimicrobial and other antibiotics, it is essential to strengthen infection prevention and control in healthcare facilities, farms, and food industry premises. Furthermore, ensuring access to vaccines, clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, applying best practices in food and agriculture production, and sound management of waste and wastewater from relevant industries. 

How are Knowlex exceeding the vision on Infection Prevention and Control on a global platform?

We the torchbearers of Healthcare Knowledge Exchange, Knowlex are hosting Europe’s Largest Conference on Infection Prevention and Control on the 25th-26th April 2023 at the National Conference Centre in Birmingham.

Fully Funded tickets are available to selected job roles within the healthcare sector. Email us on delegates@knowlex.co.uk and mention code IPC3.

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