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World Antibiotic Awareness Week in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2017 - Seek advice from a qualified health care professional before taking antibiotics

WHO in the Eastern Mediterranean Region joins the global campaign with a set of campaigns objectives, messages and materials that have been developed to fit the context of the Region. The 2017 campaign is an opportunity for countries in the Region to reflect on what they can do to reduce antimicrobial resistance and take action.

The objectives of the regional campaign are to:

keep antimicrobial resistance at the top of the agenda among decision-makers in health, food and agriculture and the animal sectors in the countries of the Region;

highlight the importance of responsible use of antibiotics among the general public;

inspire behavioural change with a focus on families and youth.

This year’s campaign will focus on the following messages for the general public.

Antibiotics should only be used when prescribed by a doctor.

Antibiotics are medicines that should only be used to treat bacterial infections.

Not all illnesses can be treated with antibiotics, for example the common cold and flu are caused by viruses which don’t respond to antibiotics.

Never demand antibiotics if your doctor says you don’t need them.

Do not buy antibiotics from pharmacies without a prescription.

The risk of infection can be reduced with good basic hygiene practices.

Good hygiene reduces the transmission of germs and therefore the risk of infection. This leads to a reduced need for antibiotics and helps slow the emergence of antibiotic resistance.

The WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean will kick off the week with a launch event to raise awareness of the issue and to encourage best practices among the public, policy-makers, as well as health and agriculture professionals to avoid further emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance in the Region.

Events in countries of the Region


World Antibiotics Awareness Week 2017 will be celebrated on 15 November with an event that will gather policy-makers and health professionals to discuss antimicrobial resistance. In addition, printed and audiovisual media will be used throughout the week to target various audiences.


The WHO office in Egypt, in collaboration with Cairo University hospitals, will conduct a scientific day/symposium during the week.

The symposium aims to shed light on the present antimicrobial resistance situation and the threat it poses to Egyptian health care facilities. The event aims further to encourage research by ameliorating research ideas and questions to encourage proactive measures to reduce antimicrobial resistance in Egypt. The Preventive Sector of the Ministry of Health and Population will join the symposium as the main technical partner. The invitation will be extended to members of public health, clinical departments and other research institutes. Participants will include the Dean of Cairo Medical School, hospital directors, head of clinical departments, treating physicians at the Cairo University hospitals.


World Antibiotics Awareness Week activities in Iraq will be conducted by multisectoral One-Health partners, including the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Education.

The Ministry of Health in Iraq will host two conferences on antimicrobial resistance: one for health authorities and one for health professionals during the week-long awareness campaign. In addition, the Ministries of Health and Defence will run awareness sessions targeting physicians, dentists and pharmacists in primary, secondary and tertiary care as well as the respective syndicates. The Ministry of Education will conduct similar sessions for undergraduate and postgraduate students of higher education, while the Ministry of Agriculture will organize awareness lecture for veterinarians and farmers.

Audiovisual, printed materials and social media messages will be developed to address both human and animal health. A question and answer competition will be held for the public.


Throughout the entire month of November 2017, including during World Antibiotics Awareness Week, a series of lectures discussing antimicrobial resistance is being organized in various governorates to target health providers. Advocacy materials will be provided to the Ministry of Health to be distributed to all health directorates in the country.

The general public will be reached by mass media messages though radio, TV and social media.


The Infection Control Directorate of the Ministry of Health in Kuwait will organize a one-day workshop on 15 November 2017 for health care workers of various specialties. The objectives of the workshop are to:

highlight antimicrobial resistance threats in Kuwait;

highlight multidrug-resistant organisms in healthcare-associated infections;

improve control of antimicrobial resistance in health care settings.

Workshop speakers will include experts in infection control and microbiology. Dr Karen Nahapetyan from the WHO Regional Office will be a guest speaker.

During the 2017 World Antibiotics Awareness Week, locally-prepared educational materials, such as posters, brochures and leaflets, will be distributed in health facilities. Three locally-produced video clips and regional materials produced by the Regional Office will be aired on TV channels, radio and internal circuits in hospitals.


World Antibiotics Awareness Week awareness events will be conducted in three hospitals in Tripoli that precede a month of surveillance conducted by medical and pharmacy students of the University of Tripoli to learn about current antibiotic prescription, dispensing and consumption practices among physicians, pharmacists and the general public in Tripoli.

A symposium on antimicrobial resistance will be organized on 2 November targeting relevant officials of the Ministry of Health and National Council of Disease Control in Libya, including the director of health authorities, director of hospitals, director of pediatric department, director of surgery departments and others.

To follow up on World Antibiotics Awareness Week 2017 in Libya, please visit the WHO Libya Facebook page


Pakistan will organize a series of awareness-raising events during World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2017 in different provinces. Among the activities will be walks in hospitals and other health facilities to raise awareness of antimicrobial resistance, as well as multisectoral seminars and a consultative meeting on antimicrobial resistance. Printed advocacy and informational material will be distributed throughout the week. Other activities will include a press advertisement in the English and Urdu newspapers, a press briefing, TV panel discussion and radio clips that will be broadcast through the week.


The Ministry of Public Health of Qatar is collaborating with Hamad Medical Corporation and Qatar University to deliver a pre-congress workshop on 6 November 2017 with the title “One Health Approach to combat antimicrobial resistance in Qatar”. The intended audiences are health care professionals, animal health professionals and students in medical and allied health colleges.

In addition, the Ministry of Health will encourage health care facilities, as well as different sectors such as animal health and environmental affairs, to conduct campaigns by developing awareness-raising materials, such as posters and flyers. The public will be reached through social media and online campaign material. This Ministry also intends to hold an event for the public which will be covered by the media.