Health and care partners across Dorset are supporting World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2022 by encouraging people to find out more about the risk of antimicrobial resistance.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) happens when bacteria develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2019, nearly 5 million human deaths worldwide were associated with bacterial antimicrobial resistance (AMR), of which 1.3 million human deaths were directly attributable to bacterial AMR.

Infection Prevention and Control Specialist Nurse with NHS Dorset Tina Arnold:

“Most people are familiar with antibiotics, which work by killing bacteria or stopping it from spreading, helping the body’s natural immune system to fight the infection. However, overuse or taking antibiotics when they are not needed can have an adverse effect, putting you and your family at risk.

“We have seen over the last few years how quickly an infection can spread across the globe, and without having antibiotics available to stop some of them, they can quickly grow to affect millions of people.

“We all need to work together to prevent inappropriate antibiotic use and I would encourage everyone to find out more about the risk by either speaking to their GP or health professional at their next appointment or reading the information on the WHO website and encourage other people to do likewise.”

This year the slogan of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week remains ‘Antimicrobials: Handle with Care’ and throughout the week local NHS partners will be promoting the message on social media and encouraging people to find out more.