November 18-24 is World Antimicrobial Awareness Week and this year’s theme is “Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance.”
During this week, I invite everyone to learn more about the responsible use of antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs in order to help preserve the effectiveness of these much-needed medications.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is already undermining modern medicine and is a major public health threat that can affect anyone, of any age, in any country. AMR can develop naturally over time, but its growth is currently accelerated by the overuse and misuse of antimicrobial drugs in humans and animals. When bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites become resistant to antimicrobials, common infections, such as pneumonia, may no longer be treatable.
Throughout our continued fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen how collective action on a global scale can help save lives. That is why Canada continues to be committed to a coordinated approach on AMR. To tackle this complex health challenge, Canada collaborates with provinces and territories, and key stakeholders, including international partners such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Transatlantic Taskforce on Antimicrobial Resistance (TATFAR).
The Government of Canada has committed to spending $28.6 million over five years, beginning in 2021-22, with $5.7 million per year ongoing to support efforts to prevent the overuse and misuse of antimicrobial drugs and expand efforts to monitor the emergence of AMR in Canada. The Government of Canada, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), also leads Canada’s research efforts and is a global leader in AMR research. Over the past five years, CIHR has invested $130.7 million in AMR-related research, investing $26.3 million in 2019-2020 alone.
As the causes and impacts of AMR cross human, animal, and plant health, food production and environmental sectors, Canada has adopted a “One Health” approach to respond to AMR. A One Health approach is a holistic, collaborative, multi-sectoral, and trans-disciplinary approach recognizing the interconnections between people, animals, plants and their shared environment.
We can all take simple steps to do our part in fighting AMR. You can find more information on the safe use of antimicrobial drugs at Canada.ca/antibiotics.
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.