Bringing Global Awareness to Antibiotic Resistance and Importance of Hygiene

Bringing Global Awareness to Antibiotic Resistance and Importance of Hygiene

By Jim Arbogast, Ph.D. Hygiene Sciences and Public Health Advancements Vice President, GOJO Industries

Multimedia from this Release

Thursday, November 17, 2016 - 4:05pm

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), are raising awareness and understanding of the urgent global problem of drug resistant bacteria. The public health goal is to spark the change that is needed to ensure antibiotics are used only when necessary and prescribed by a health professional. Raising awareness will also remind all of us to use primary actions like hand and surface hygiene to prevent infections, so the need for considering antibiotics is reduced. Hand hygiene, both handwashing and hand sanitizing and surface disinfecting is simple, yet a critical component to reducing sickness that leads to antibiotic use.

Antibiotic resistance has quickly become one of the biggest threats to global health.1 It is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world, compromising the ability to treat infectious diseases and undermining advances in health and medicine.  Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in response to the use of antibiotics. While this happens naturally, the over-use and misuse of antibiotics has accelerated the process, leading to record high levels of antibiotic resistance.2

Antibiotic Resistance Facts

  • Antibiotic resistance causes at least 2 million illnesses and at least 23,000 deaths each year in the United States.3
  • Overuse and misuse of antibiotics can promote the development of drug resistant bacteria.4
  • Drug resistant bacterial infections last longer, causing more severe illness and requiring more medical care.5

Get Involved This Week

GOJO supports the CDC and the WHO efforts in a very deliberate, multi-year effort, to raise awareness of hand hygiene as a preventive measure to reduce health risks from antibiotic resistance, targeting healthcare and public health leaders, education and parents. Below are some helpful links and tools from each organization to help you get involved and spread the word.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Get Smart About Antibiotics Week

The observance is a key component of the CDC’s efforts to improve antibiotic stewardship in communities, in healthcare facilities, and on the farm in collaboration with state-based programs, nonprofit partners, and for-profit partners. The one-week observance raises awareness of the threat of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use.6

Here are ways you can participate:

CDC Twitter Chat

CDC will host a Global Twitter Chat on Friday, November 18, from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM EST – join in the conversation using @cdcgov and #AntibioticResistance. In addition to a general overview of antibiotic resistance and appropriate use, the conversation will touch on topics like global antibiotic resistance and use and antibiotic resistance and use in farms and animals. Participants will also be encouraged to share resources and success stories related to Get Smart Week and their partner activities.

APIC recently shared this news release featuring an American Journal of Infection Control study outlining the important role social media can play in increasing awareness/implementation of antibiotic stewardship programs.  

New Web Badge

Visit the CDC’s website to copy and paste the code! You can add this graphic to your web page to link to the Get Smart website and share the message about the threat of #AntibioticResistance!

The Primary Care Office Visit: Antibiotics

This communication training resource is an interactive tool designed to facilitate improved patient-provider communication. Click here to assume the role of patient or physician and practice having conversations about antibiotic use.

World Health Organization’s Antibiotics: Handle with Care

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.

For World Antibiotic Awareness Week, the WHO is providing a toolkit to provide essential information for everyone around the world to participate in the campaign.


Several posters for nurses, pharmacists and all healthcare professionals are available.


Click here to find infographics on antibiotic resistance topics including: causes of antibiotic resistance, how antibiotic resistance spreads, antibiotic resistance and what you can do, what policy makers can do, what the agriculture sector can do, what healthcare workers can do.


Several informational videos are available.

Together let’s raise awareness and help educate others about the growing problem of the overuse of antibiotics and the needed solutions for antibiotic stewardship.  At GOJO, we have pledged our long-term support to promote antibiotic stewardship and reduce antibiotic resistance.  I encourage you to learn more about this issue this week.

1, 2. WHO World Antibiotic Awareness Week Campaign Toolkit,
3. Get Smart About Antibiotics Week,
4, 5. Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work,
6. Get Smart About Antibiotics Week,