What can be done?

Antibiotic resistance is an expected and natural mechanism that will occur when antibiotics are used, but it can be controlled if antibiotics are used in a balanced way.

Controlling and preventing antibiotic resistance is complex and should involve many different sectors. It requires a national comprehensive and coordinated approach. This includes:

  • improving surveillance of resistance so that data is collected and the situation is known
  • monitoring antibiotic usage
  • promoting the use of antibiotics wisely in all sectors
  • increasing hospital hygiene and infection control
  • investing in new drugs and tools
  • awareness-raising that this is a serious and urgent public health problem.

The public, prescribers, policy-makers, the pharmaceutical industry and the food animal production sector, all have an important role to play in containing antibiotic resistance.

Regional Strategy on antibiotic resistance

WHO/Europe is developing a regional strategic action plan to contain antibiotic resistance that will promote an integrated approach through seven strategic objectives including national coordination to bring all expertise together. The strategy will further support Member States’ efforts to prevent and contain antibiotic resistance.