World Health Day focuses on antibiotic resistance

07 April 2011, Public Health Wales

World Health Day took place on 7 April and this year focused on the ever growing threat of the global spread of antibiotic resistance and the critical need for the development of new antibiotics.

World Health Day 2011The major area of concern globally is the increasing resistance observed in Gram negative bacteria, particularly the emergence of organisms that can be resistant to almost all antibiotics.
Although there have not, as yet, been any confirmed cases of such resistance in coliforms in Wales, resistance to other agents continues to increase.
The major driver for the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance is antibiotic use and therefore the main element in controlling spread is prudent antimicrobial use.
The Welsh Antimicrobial Resistance Programme of Public Health Wales will publish its third National Point Prevalence Survey of antimicrobial use later this month.  The survey was performed around European Antibiotic Awareness day in November 2010 and surveyed 6,559 patients on 335 wards in 37 hospitals.
Preliminary results show that 30% of inpatients were receiving an antibiotic. Efforts across Wales to improve antibiotic use seem to be reflected in the survey, showing increased compliance with guidance.
The Antimicrobial Resistance Programme can provide support for Local Health Boards through: 
  • Collation and publication of antibiotic resistance data
  • Collation and publication of antibiotic usage data
  • Coordination, analysis and publication of the annual Point Prevalence survey
  • Laboratory support by the Specialist Antimicrobial Chemotherapy Unit (SACU)
  • Support for strategies to promote better antibiotic use
  • Support in the identification and management of hospital or community outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant organisms.
Further information on resistance and antimicrobial use across Wales can be found in the reports published by the Public Health Wales Antimicrobial Resistance Programme at: