World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2022


14 Nov 2022

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) runs every year from November 18-24. This annual campaign aims to bring increased visibility to global antimicrobial resistance and stewardship, and encourages best practices among the general public, health professionals, and policy makers to avoid the further development and spread of drug-resistant infections. This week promotes informed, careful use of these life-saving antimicrobials to help keep them working for future generations.

How to Participate
This year’s global theme is “Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together.”

This post provides some ideas for those working across health care settings, food and agriculture, and infection prevention and control professionals, to help promote WAAW. 

  • Promote and participate in webinars and symposia, and join online events
  • Display videos and share images on screens in your hospital/clinic
    • Sometimes No Antibiotic is the Best Prescription – short video on what patients can do to feel better when antibiotics are not needed (English only)
    • Antibiotics and You – a short video that explains antibiotics and how they affect your microbiome (the collection of all microbes, such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and their genes, that naturally live on and inside our bodies) (English only)
  • Share Key Messages in Newsletters and Social Media
    • Antibiotics (and other antimicrobials, such as antivirals and antifungals) have saved millions of lives since their discovery – but are gradually becoming less effective as bacteria and other microbes develop drug resistance. Infections can become drug-resistant when bacteria adapt and find clever ways to fight antibiotics.  Without antibiotics, routine surgeries like appendectomies and minor injuries are once again becoming life threatening.
    • Bacterial antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a leading cause of death, with an estimated 1.27 million deaths globally each year.
    • In Canada it is estimated that by 2050 AMR rates could rise to 40%, resulting in a loss of 396,000 of Canadian lives.
    • Antibiotic overuse increases antibiotic resistance. Bacteria and other germs can develop ways to make the antibiotic less effective, making future infections more difficult to treat.
    • Healthy bacteria in our intestines can be killed by antibiotics, predisposing us to other problems like diarrhea, and Clostridioides difficile (“C. diff”) infection.
    • Antibiotics do not treat infections caused by viruses, like influenza, common cold, and bronchitis.
    • Sharing information about the risks and benefits of antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infections can help support improved decision making. PHO has developed Let’s Talk resources to support judicious antibiotic use and shared decision making between patients and prescribers.
    • Over 80% of antibiotics are prescribed in the community setting and up to 50% of antibiotics prescribed are inappropriate or unnecessary, so antibiotic stewardship is vital in primary care. Collaborating with Choosing Wisely, PHO has developed fact sheets entitled Strategies to Reduce Antibiotic Overuse in Primary Care to help clinicians get started with antibiotic stewardship in primary care.
  • Play games!
    • Share this Which Antibiotic are You? personality quiz with your colleagues and friends, consider a raffle for everyone who has completed it
    • Consider a “scavenger hunt” with rewards/prizes to search for antimicrobial stewardship information on your hospital/clinic website

For more information on WAAW in Canada, visit:

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Published 14 Nov 2022