The World Health Organization launched a new campaign urging countries to help stem the tide of antibiotic resistance by using a new tracking tool.
The WHO wants countries to adopt its AWaRe system, which places antibiotics into one of three groups: Access, Watch and Reserve. The system specifies which antibiotics should be used for the most prevalent and serious infections, which should be on hand in a country’s healthcare system, and which should be used only as a last resort.
Drugs in the Access category are for targeting common infections, while the Watch category is for products that should always be available in the health system. Reserve products should only be used as a last resort.
“All countries must strike a balance between ensuring access to life-saving antibiotics and slowing drug resistance by reserving the use of some antibiotics for the hardest-to-treat infections,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus.