Antimicrobial resistance

World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2016

14-20 November 2016

A nurse is holding samples, Hospital
WHO/S Volkov

Antibiotics: Handle with care

World Antibiotic Awareness Week aims to increase awareness of global antibiotic resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.

A global action plan to tackle the growing problem of resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines was endorsed at the Sixty-eighth World Health Assembly in May 2015. One of the key objectives of the plan is to improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance through effective communication, education and training.

The theme of the campaign, Antibiotics: Handle with Care, reflects the overarching message that antibiotics are a precious resource and should be preserved. They should be used to treat bacterial infections, only when prescribed by a certified human or animal health professional. Antibiotics should never be shared or saved for the future.

WHO is encouraging all Member States, health partners and students, and the public to join this campaign and help raise awareness of antibiotic resistance. A variety of resources are available to support local campaigns and a number of additional materials will be made available in the lead up to the week.

For further information:


For more information on the campaign, please contact: waaw@who.int.