Antibiotic Awareness Week
U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week is an annual observance that raises awareness about appropriate antibiotic use and the problems antibiotic resistance presents to human health. It also highlights the steps everyone can take to improve antibiotic prescribing and use. This year, USAAW will be November 18-24. This observance is a collaboration between the CDC, state-based programs, nonprofit partners, and for-profit partners. Internationally, USAAW coincides with:
- European Antibiotic Awareness Day
- Australia’s Antibiotic Awareness Week
- Canada’s Antibiotic Awareness Week
- World Antibiotic Awareness Week
Why is USAAW Important?
Antibiotics can save lives and are critical tools for treating a number of common and more serious infections. However, as stated by the CDC, 28% of antibiotics prescribed in U.S. outpatient settings are unnecessary. Any time antibiotics are used, they can cause side effects and contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance, one of the most urgent threats to the public’s health.
While it is well-known amongst healthcare professionals that antibiotic resistance poses a significant threat to human health world-wide, studies consistently find that the general public does not fully comprehend the severity of antibiotic resistance.
How Can Your Organization Get Involved?
Employers and leaders can play a key role in educating employees on how to make healthy choices and live healthy lifestyles. This upcoming week is a great opportunity for you to raise awareness for proper antibiotic use, which can greatly impact your workforce’s overall health. Listed below are some ways you can get involved in USAAW:
- Social Media: Sharing social media messages, images, and animated graphics on your organization’s social media channels is not only easy, but also extremely effective when it comes to spreading accurate information. Remember to use #USAAW20 and #BeAntibioticsAware in every post!
- E-Newsletter and/or Virtual Materials: Include information about Be Antibiotics Aware and U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week in your organization’s e-newsletters and in virtual materials that you email out or make available on your communication channels.
- Have a Conversation: During one of your virtual meetings this week, set aside time to simply have a conversation about antibiotics. Answer any questions employees may have or direct them to reliable resources.
- Events: Your organization can join local events, either virtually by taking the proper COVID-19 precautions at in-person events, or you can create your own. Webinars or virtual lunch-and-learns are both great ideas!