AntibioticAwareness.ca is the collaborative effort of a number of Canadian organizations. Focusing on different health specialities, each of the organizations is dedicated to reducing antibiotic use and resistance.
National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCCID)
NCCID is one of six centres that form a network across Canada, each focusing on a different topic in public health. NCCID gathers, distils, and disseminates current information and tools on communicable diseases. Our work informs public policy and better equips public health practitioners in their role of preventing and controlling emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.
NCCID is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada, and production of this website has been made possible through a financial contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada. NCCID is hosted by the International Centre for Infectious Diseases.
Public Health Agency of Canada
The Public Health Agency of Canada leads national surveillance systems that track antimicrobial resistance in health care and community settings and in the food supply. The information these systems generate is used by the health portfolio, provincial and territorial partners, doctors, and veterinarians to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance in Canada. The Agency also provides guidance on infection prevention and control practices for use by provinces and territories, health care facilities and health care personnel across Canada. These guidelines are designed to limit the spread of hospital acquired infections, including those that are resistant to antimicrobials.
Association of Medical Microbiology & Infectious Disease (AMMI) Canada
AMMI Canada is the national association that represents physicians and researchers specializing in the fields of medical microbiology and infectious diseases. Through research, education, and partnerships with other associations, AMMI Canada strives to protect people from existing and emerging infectious diseases and provide treatment for those who are affected.
“I’m excited to see Antibiotic Awareness Day begin and grow. Simply, antibiotic overuse drives resistance, which affects the whole community. Patients want to get better, and their doctors want to do the right thing, but antibiotics are commonly seen as the safest choice for ‘colds and flu’ when in fact they won’t help these viral infections, and may cause side effects as well as resistance. We want to help put tools in the hands of the doctors and patients to help in the decisions.” – Dr. Lynora Saxinger, Chair of the AMMI Canada Antimicrobial Stewardship and Resistance Committee
Community and Hospital Infection Control Association – Canada
CHICA–Canada is a national, multi-disciplinary, voluntary association of infection control professionals (ICPs) dedicated to the health of Canadians by promoting excellence in the practice of infection prevention and control.
“We have known for a long time that there are cost-effective strategies to decrease the creation and spread of antibiotic resistant organisms. What we need is a concerted effort to help health care workers follow these strategies.” – Dr. Michael Gardam, Physician Director of CHICA
Canadian Foundation for Infectious Diseases
The Canadian Foundation for Infectious Diseases (CFID) is a national charity dedicated to protecting and improving the health of Canadians and people around the globe. Working in collaboration with government and private sector partners, CFID supports research, public education and advocacy on effective infection prevention, diagnosis and treatment. More information on CFID is available at www.researchid.com.
“Twenty five Canadians die each day from health care associated infections and antibiotic resistant superbug bacteria. Canadians can slow the rate of resistance development by limiting antibiotic use to when the antibiotics will make us better. We make antibiotics more effective and provide additional time to scientists and doctors researching new tools to prevent and treat infectious diseases.” – Dr. Raphäel Saginur, Past President of the Canadian Foundation for Infectious Diseases.
Canadian Paediatric Society
The Canadian Paediatric Society is a national advocacy association that promotes the health needs of children and youth. Founded in 1922, the CPS represents nearly 3,000 paediatricians, paediatric subspecialists and other child health professionals across Canada.
“MRSA, C. difficile, VRE: A new lexicon has been introduced into our language. The antibiotic ‘friend’ that saves our life may come with uninvited guests. But, if we learn how and when to use our friends, we can avoid the unwelcomed consequences. These will be the new lesson for our times.” – Dr. Robert Bortolussi, Chair Infectious Disease and Immunization Committee, Canadian Paediatric Society.
Do Bugs Need Drugs?
Do Bugs Need Drugs? is a community education program about responsible use of antibiotics. The program focuses on handwashing, the difference between bacterial and viral illnesses, and the need to use antibiotics wisely. We provide print, electronic and live educational resources for healthcare professionals and the public and work closely with an extensive network of community partners to disseminate information at the grassroots level. Do Bugs Need Drugs? is a provincial program in Alberta, funded by a grant from Alberta Health and Wellness to Alberta Health Services, and in British Columbia, funded by the BC Ministry of Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control.
“Antibiotic resistance is a worldwide medical issue that threatens the effectiveness of antibiotics in treating serious and potentially fatal infections. It is gratifying to see the development of a Canadian strategy to promote wise use of antibiotics and to be able to collaborate and share information with our international partners. This initiative is a crucial step towards improving antibiotic use and reducing rates of resistance in Canada. – Dr. Edith Blondel-Hill, Medical Director.
Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors
The Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI) represents and unites Environmental Public Health professionals across Canada. We advance the profession and field of Environmental Public Health through certification, advocacy, education and professional competencies. Through this we protect the health of all Canadians.
“Antimicrobial resistance has long been a concern in public health. One of the key strategies to reduce the impact of antibiotic resistant organisms is increasing healthcare and public awareness. Preventing development and transmission of AROs in public settings needs to be a collaborative approach.” – Ken Diplock, CIPHI Ontario Branch Past President.
Canadian Public Health Association
The Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) is a national, independent, not-for-profit, voluntary association representing public health in Canada with links to the international public health community. CPHA’s members believe in universal and equitable access to the basic conditions which are necessary to achieve health for all Canadians.
Canadian Pharmacists Association
“CPhA is proud to support this Antibiotic Awareness initiative. Pharmacists work with patients and other health care professionals to ensure optimal use of medications including antibiotics. Raising awareness of antimicrobial overuse and misuse and providing tools to promote appropriate antibiotic use are important steps in combating antimicrobial resistance.” – Dr. Yvonne Shevchuk, CPhA representative to CETAR
Canadian Association for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
CACMID (Canadian Association for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases) is an organization that began from a public health microbiology background and is now one of Canada’s longest-standing microbiology associations. CACMID actively promotes cooperation, collaborative research, and education amongst microbiologists, and also the development and promotion of clinical standards and guidelines. CACMID is inclusive of all microbiology-related positions including technicians, clinicians, medical microbiologists, physicians, students, research scientists and laboratory managers.
CACMID hosts an Annual Meeting which is designed to address the needs of health care professionals specialized in the areas of infection control, clinical microbiology, infectious disease, and antimicrobial resistance.
Antibiotic resistance is a global problem, requiring an international response. AntibioticAwareness.ca is grateful to the advice, support, and material from similar projects around the world.
Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work
Get Smart About Antibiotics Week has been an annual effort to coordinate the work of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC’s ) Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work campaign, state-based appropriate antibiotic use campaigns, non-profit partners, and for-profit partners during a one week observance of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic use.
European Antibiotic Awareness Day
The European Antibiotic Awareness Day is a European health initiative which aims to provide a platform and support for national campaigns about prudent antibiotic use. Across Europe each year the European Antibiotic Awareness Day is marked by national campaigns on prudent antibiotic use during the week of 18 November. Prudent use means only using antibiotics when they are needed, with the correct dose, dosage intervals and duration of the course. For more information, visit:
Antibiotic Awareness Week in Australia
Antibiotic Awareness Week in Australia (AAW 18-24 November 2013) is being coordinated by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) working together with NPS MedicineWise, the Department of Agriculture, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), and the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) to promote consistent messages about appropriate use of antibiotics. The week is supported by the Australian Society for Antimicrobials (ASA), the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID), the Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control (ACIPC) and the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA). With these organisations’ support, we are taking a ‘One Health’ approach to encourage appropriate use of antibiotics to help “preserve the miracle” of antibiotics.
The Commission campaign for hospitals is focused on “no action today, no cure tomorrow” from WHO World Health Day 2011. The campaign promotes seven actions for appropriate antibiotic use. Australian hospitals are also being invited to participate in a National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey. NPS MedicineWise will invite health professionals and consumers to make an online pledge to help tackle the problem of antimicrobial resistance and hospitals will also be invited to participate in a national antibiotic prescribing survey. Resources for Australian Antibiotic Awareness Week are available through the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care www.safetyandquality.gov.au/aaw2013 and NPS MedicineWise www.nps.org.au/antibiotics
Pan American Health Organization
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is an international public health agency with more than 100 years of experience in working to improve health and living standards of the countries of the Americas. It serves as the specialized organization for health of the Inter-American System. It also serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization and enjoys international recognition as part of the United Nations system. For more information, visit: http://www.paho.org/