World Health Day 2011 - No action today, no cure tomorrow


World Health Day is celebrated every year on April 7th to mark the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Each year, WHO choses a key health issue, to promote good health and well-being.

The issue of antimicrobial resistance has been selected to mark  World Health Day in 2011.

Antimicrobials are medicines used to treat infections. Antimicrobial resistance is not a new problem but is becoming more dangerous as fewer new antimicrobials are being discovered and as microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites) develop new ways of becoming resistant to available medicine.

Antimicrobial resistance is facilitated by the inappropriate use of antimicrobials. For example, taking antibiotics for viral infections such as colds or flu, when they are not effective against these ailments or not completing the prescribed course of antimicrobial treatment for an infection.

Urgent and consolidated efforts are needed to avoid returning to the era before antimicrobials were available, when patients often died from common infections.

On April 7th 2011, WHO will call on everyone, including:

• Policy makers and planners
• The public and patients
• Healthcare professionals and prescribers
• Pharmacists
• The pharmaceutical industry

to think, act and to take responsibility for combating resistance to antimicrobials.

The campaign slogan is “No action today, no cure tomorrow”.

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