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CHP echoes first WHO World Antibiotic Awareness Week to combat antimicrobial resistance

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (November 12) announced a series of health promotion activities to tie in with the first World Antibiotic Awareness Week of the World Health Organization (WHO) from November 16 to 22.

     According to the WHO, its campaign entitled "Antibiotics: Handle with Care" aims to increase the awareness of the general public and healthcare workers (HCWs) against antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Antibiotics should be used to treat bacterial infections only when prescribed by a registered doctor and should never be shared, and the full course of treatment should be completed.

     Locally, the CHP's disease-specific surveillance programme revealed that the AMR of tuberculosis and Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection remained low when  compared with the WHO report "Antimicrobial Resistance: Global Report on Surveillance 2014". However, an increasing trend of AMR is noted in Staphylococcus aureus infections in Hong Kong.

     "The CHP is committed to controlling AMR and has been rolling out various campaigns on the responsible use of antibiotics to public and private medical, nursing and pharmacist professionals as well as the public at large since 2012. This year, to echo with the first World Antibiotic Awareness Week of the WHO, a series of publicity campaigns will be launched to enhance the message," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     A one-stop webpage ( and a newly developed "I Pledge" online registration website ( have been set up, providing ample education resources on AMR for healthcare professionals and members of the public.

     "As the web address suggests, healthcare professionals yet to sign 'I Pledge' on the responsible use of antibiotics are urged to do it easily online. To date, about 700 healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses and pharmacists have signed up. We also appeal to dentists, vets, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, radiographers and other allied HCWs to join the pledge," the spokesman said.

     In regard to the Antibiotic Stewardship Programme (ASP) introduced to public hospitals under the Hospital Authority in 2006, the decade-long experience has been highly useful for the control of AMR in the primary care setting. The CHP will roll out the ASP in primary care settings in phases after a pilot run in selected clinical services of the DH early next year.

     In addition to sharing publicity materials as well as Announcements in the Public Interest and animation via different media channels, the CHP will launch a competition for one-minute videos on "Use Antibiotics Wisely, Prevent Antimicrobial Resistance", which will be open for secondary school students and other members of the public. Awarded videos will be screened on social media platforms in 2016.

     Interested entrants may visit the webpage of the video competition ( for more details.

     An article on World Antibiotic Awareness Week is carried today in the CHP's online bi-weekly, Communicable Diseases Watch (

Ends/Thursday, November 12, 2015
Issued at HKT 15:25


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