Increase of antibiotic resistance - Antibiotic Awareness Week highlights the risks

Bern, 14.09.2017 - The global fight against antibiotic resistance is ramping up. The World Health Organization has launched an Antibiotic Awareness Week, which will be running for the first time in Switzerland from 13 to 19 November 2017. The professional world and wider public especially are to better communicate and understand that the severe consequences of antibiotic resistance are on the rise. Humans, animals, agriculture and the environment are affected in equal measure. Numerous associations and organisations across Switzer-land are supporting the Awareness Week with their own activities and campaigns.

The number of cases of antibiotic resistance is increasing globally and with it the risk that infectious diseases will now be very difficult or impossible to treat, meaning hu-mans and animals will die. Every year in Switzerland too, people and animals are infect-ed with bacteria which antibiotics are powerless to treat. With its International Antibiotic Awareness Week, the WHO aims to raise public awareness about the issue. National Antibiotic Awareness Week in Switzerland (13 to 19 November 2017) will be an oppor-tunity to learn more about and discuss the issue of antibiotic resistance together with people working in human medicine, veterinary medicine, agriculture and the environ-ment.

Various events, publications and information days are planned. The week is being coor-dinated by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO), the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) and the Feder-al Office for the Environment (FOEN). Universities, experts, industry organisations, associations, research institutes, health centres, pharmacies, consumer associations and other interested parties will be taking part in the Antibiotic Awareness Week by run-ning their own events and campaigns. Numerous activities and campaigns are already in the pipeline, including various symposia for doctors at universities and hospitals and talks for the general public, exhibitions and training sessions at colleges of agriculture and research institutes.

In Bern, an open symposium by Public Health Schweiz is offering a broad overview of the current developments in antibiotic resistance, the dangers and risks involved and potential solutions. Special conferences, specialist events and information days will be held in addition to presentations and tours.

Strategy on Antibiotic Resistance (StAR)
One of the most significant advances in medicine, antibiotics allow us to treat danger-ous diseases such as pneumonia or blood poisoning, which often used to prove fatal. However, the excessive and sometimes improper use of antibiotics has resulted in more and more bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics. The consequences are dramatic and affect humans, animals, agriculture and the environment in equal measure. In re-sponse, the Swiss Federal Council concluded its national Strategy on Antibiotic Re-sistance (StaAR) in 2015 as a means of addressing the increasing level of resistance in a coordinated way.

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