World Antimicrobial Awareness Week November 2021

18 November 2021

This year’s WHO World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, which starts on November 18, is a reminder of the importance of only using antimicrobials when their prescription is clinically justified.

The overuse of such medications, which include antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antiparasitics, is helping in the spread of resistant microbes, prolonging illnesses and causing preventable deaths.

ICN’s position statement on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) argues that nurses should use their influence to educate patients and their families about the causes and risks of AMR.

And it says that nurses and other professionals who have prescribing rights should follow national prescribing guidelines on the most appropriate drug, the smallest effective dose and the most appropriate route of administration.

ICN Chief Nurse Michelle Acorn said: “ICN agrees wholeheartedly with WHO’s aim to ‘Spread awareness and stop resistance,’ because raising awareness about antimicrobial resistance will save lives. Nurses are in a great position to educate the public and their families, and their colleagues, about the importance of using antimicrobials only when it is absolutely necessary. If we don’t, our arsenal of effective antimicrobials will continue to shrink, which could have grave consequences on our ability to treat common illnesses in years to come.”