This year’s commemoration – which aims to raise awareness of both antibiotics and antibiotic resistance – will end tomorrow. The World Health Organization (WHO) and many countries use World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) to highlight “best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to help stop the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance”. I must say that the WHO webpage gets more attractive, inclusive and informative with each year’s campaign.

Singapore has also staged a number of events this year, more than the previous years. The establishment of the AMR Coordinating Office at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases has helped to drive some of the awareness raising initiatives, including the library outreach event at Woodlands Regional Library today and tomorrow. Some of the public events this year include:

The Health Promotion Board’s campaign which includes a short video with a rather catchy tune “I’m not the one for you” – the message being that antibiotics do not hasten recovery from flu and URTIs.

Screen capture from the HPB video.

The Antibiotic Resistance Essay competition which has been held every year for the past 3 years. This year, it was jointly organised by the School of Public Health (SSHSPH), Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore General Hospital and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE), and therefore also included an essay on the microbiome. The winners (and their essays) can be found here.

Screen capture from the SSHSPH website.

Jurong Library was again the site for the SSHSPH library outreach event on 9th and 10th November, which was very well attended by children and their parents. There were also many volunteers from Temasek Polytechnic in addition to those from the hospitals and agencies which was a bonus.

WAAW booth at the entrance of Jurong Library
Dr Clarence Tam who has organized the WAAW events SSHSPH for the past 4 years.

We also launched the comic “The Antibiotic Tales” at Jurong Library on 9th November, which was amazingly well attended. Prof Paul Tambyah gamely moderated the session where Sonny Liew showed how he converted concepts and stories into rough drawings and then their final detailed forms. The children asked the most original and insightful questions.

Several hospitals also had public exhibitions for their commemoration of WAAW. I was unable to attend the one at National University Hospital, but was in time for the exhibition at Singapore General Hospital where the HPB antibiotic mascot also made an appearance.

The HPB injured antibiotic mascot
The SGH Antibiotic Stewardship Team setting up the public booth at SGH for WAAW.

Finally, for the first time, I had the opportunity to participate in a podcast for the Straits Times. I am still not certain many will listen to the ST podcasts, but it was an interesting experience.

With Joyce and Ernest from the Straits Times