World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW)

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2022

Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) happens when microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites) develop the ability to continue to grow, even when they are exposed to antimicrobial medicines that are meant to kill them or limit their growth (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials, and anthelmintics).

As a result, the medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spreading to others.

Drug resistance is one of the most serious health threats facing humanity. It could cause 10 million deaths per year and an overall cost of $100 trillion to the global economy by 2050.

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) is celebrated from 18-24 November every year to improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance. The 2022 theme is 'Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together'. It encourages all sectors to use antimicrobials prudently, to work together and strengthen preventive measures addressing AMR.

What is the difference between antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic resistance?

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

While antimicrobial resistance refers to all microbes that resist treatments designed to destroy them. Antibiotic resistance specifically deals with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

What does AMR have to do with cancer?

As many as 1 in 5 cancer patients undergoing treatment are hospitalised due to infection and antibiotics are the main line of defence. In fact, infection is the second leading cause of death in patients with cancer. 

How is UICC engaging with World Antimicrobial Awareness Week?

  • The new AMR Control Supplement was launched at the World Cancer Congress 2022, emphasizing the impact of AMR on cancer care outcomes
  • UICC will be broadcasting a podcast where Kevin Outterson, Founder and Executive Director of CARB-X, speaks to Cary Adams, CEO of UICC, about the dangers of AMR and the threat to public health in general and cancer patients in particular – and what actions and research are currently underway to address this threat.
  • A number of articles and blogs will be promoted on how cancer care is affected by AMR, the work of an AMR taskforce of experts from within the cancer and infectious diseases communities, and AMR benchmarking, which looks at how pharmaceutical companies are tackling this crisis.
Staff picture for WAAW

What are key messages to share?

UICC has prepared ready-made social media messages and posts to help our members and the cancer community raise awareness during World Antimicrobial Awareness Week.

WAAW ready-made social media messages

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses a major threat to global human health. The threat is particularly concerning for cancer patients. #AMR @uicc 


Cancer care is highly affected by #AMR. As many as 1 in 5 #cancer patients undergoing treatment are hospitalised due to infection, and #antibiotics are the main line of defence. @uicc 


The significant progress made in successfully treating many common cancers is being undermined by the growing threat of #AMR as cancer patients are 3x more likely to die from a fatal infection than those who do not have cancer. @uicc 

By 2050, ten million people could die as a direct result of drug-resistant infections and cost a cumulative $100 trillion of economic output – if we don’t act now. @uicc #AMR 


Drug resistance is one of the most serious health threats facing humanity. By 2050 it could cause 10 million deaths per year and cost a cumulative $100 trillion in economic output - if we don’t act now. @uicc #AMR 


What can you do to prevent antimicrobial resistance?  

  • Only use antibiotics prescribed by a doctor 
  • Complete your treatment 
  • Never share or use leftover antibiotics 
  • Prevent infections with good hygiene, safe sex and vaccinations 

#AMR @uicc  

News and Blogs on AMR
Close-up of a person's hand, receiving treatment intravenously.
23 November 2022

Lack of access to antibiotics and antifungals compromise cancer care

Marking the end of World Antimicrobial (AMR) Awareness Week, Fatima Rafiqi and Marijn Verhoef of Access to Medicines Foundation offer insight into an AMR benchmarking tool that evaluates pharmaceutical companies to stimulate them in the areas where they have the biggest potential and responsibility to limit AMR.

Man wearing a mask undergoing cancer treatment
17 November 2022

What can be done about drug resistance?

Marking the start of World Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness Week (WAAW), UICC reiterates recommendations from an essential supplement on AMR to reduce misuse and improve infection control and research and development.

Last update: 
Monday 14 November 2022