JAMAICA has joined the rest of the world in the annual observance of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) from November 18 to 24, under the theme 'Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together'.
Jamaica's activities are being led by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), in conjunction with the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, and the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
WAAW is a World Health Organization (WHO)-led global campaign that is celebrated annually to improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance and to encourage best practices among the public, as health stakeholders and policymakers all play a critical role in reducing the further emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines become ineffective and infections become increasingly difficult or impossible to treat.
According to the WHO, researchers estimated that AMR in bacteria caused an estimated 1.27 million deaths in 2019.
In an interview with JIS News, National PAHO Infection Prevention and Control (IPC)/AMR Consultant Dr Glendee Reynolds-Campbell explained that the main activity for WAAW will be a symposium which will be held under the WAAW theme. The event will take place on Thursday, November 24 beginning at 10:00 at the Regional Headquarters Building, The University of the West Indies.
The other activity for the week will be a webinar hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, on Wednesday, November 23.