‘Antibiotics: Handle With Care’ Campaign Addresses Threat of Resistant Infections
The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks the growing threat of antibiotic resistance as one of the biggest challenges to global health today.
The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks the growing threat of antibiotic resistance as one of the biggest challenges to global health today. With the goal of increasing awareness of how it’s impacting our ability to treat infectious diseases and encouraging best practices among health care professionals, policymakers, the agricultural sector and general public, WHO is leading an international campaign that seeks to address this urgent problem.
Calling on individuals and health care teams to take action to address antibiotic resistance, WHO offers dental professionals a variety of resources they can use to better understand the scope of the problem and help limit its spread. Although antibiotics have been used to fight infectious diseases for more than 70 years, the drugs have been so widely prescribed by physicians and dentists that some infectious organisms have adapted, rendering the drugs ineffective. In the United States alone, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that antibiotic-resistant bacteria cause at least 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths each year.
One of the key objectives of WHO’s “Antibiotics: Handle With Care” campaign and global action plan is improving our understanding of antibiotic resistance through effective communication, education and training. Toward this end, dental teams will find fact sheets, posters, infographics, multimedia materials and other tools at who.int/drugresistance. These can be used to build team awareness and help educate patients about the importance of preserving the efficacy of existing antibiotics, and preventing the spread of resistant infections.