Each year, the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) (18 – 24 November) and the European Antibiotic Awareness Day (18 November) represent an opportunity for members of the MEP Interest Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) to connect with citizens on this topic. Featuring a mix of text and video messages from MEPs, this year’s WAAW Interest Group social media campaign aimed to draw attention to the dangers of AMR, while pointing to some of the policy directions that should be explored to tackle this complex global threat.
The 2022 World Antimicrobial Awareness Week theme – Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together – sent an important message. This principle has always been key for the Interest Group’s approach to fighting AMR, as reflected both in its membership and internal working, and in the policy and political vision that the group puts forward. Internally, the group brings together MEPs from across Europe and across the political spectrum, with a diversity of professional backgrounds, and who focus on human, animal and planetary health. Externally, the MEPs of the group have been calling for a multisectoral and multidisciplinary approach to tackling this silent pandemic. With AMR having been identified by the World Health Organization as one of the major global health threats, the group also stresses that preventing AMR requires concerted efforts at the national, European and global level.
Reflecting the slogan of WAAW, ‘Antimicrobials: Handle with Care’, which remains unchanged over the years, many social media messages from Interest Group members stressed the need for antibiotics to be used responsibly, only when they are needed, in order to safeguard their effectiveness. They also drew attention to the magnitude of the problem, pointing to AMR as “possibly the next biggest threat to humanity”. Other topics mentioned included the importance of good husbandry practices in animal farming, of better hygiene in healthcare and of addressing antibiotic residues in the water and the environment.
The messages were posted by the Interest Group Secretariat, linking them together by using the hashtag #MEPvsAMR.
The WAAW social media campaign has become a staple in the Interest Group’s public outreach activities – view the previous campaigns here (2020) and here (2021).