WHO report on surveillance of antibiotic consumption: 2016-2018 early implementation. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2018
(2018; 127 pages)


Antimicrobial resistance is a major threat to health and human development, affecting our ability to treat a range of infections. Treatments for a growing number of infections have become less effective in many parts of the world due to resistance. The link between antimicrobial resistance and use of antimicrobials is well documented. However, little information is available on antimicrobial use in low-income countries. This report presents 2015 data on the consumption of systemic antibiotics from 65 countries and areas, contributing to our understanding of how antibiotics are used in these countries. In addition, the report documents early efforts of the World Health Organization (WHO) and participating countries to monitor antimicrobial consumption, describes the WHO global methodology for data collection, and highlights the challenges and future steps in monitoring antimicrobial consumption.

In order to obtain a thorough and comprehensive picture of antimicrobial resistance and to be able to identify areas in which actions are needed, surveillance data are essential. This includes data on antimicrobial resistance and also antimicrobial consumption. Surveillance systems should provide data that can be easily compared, exchanged or used locally, nationally and globally. Unfortunately, many low- and middle-income countries lack the capacity to establish and maintain systems to collect and make use of data on antimicrobial consumption.

The WHO methodology for a global programme on surveillance of antimicrobial consumption provides a common technical basis for setting up a surveillance system on antimicrobial consumption and allows for standardized data collection at the national level. The approach has largely been adapted from the European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption Network (ESAC-Net) of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and from the protocol developed by the WHO Regional Office for Europe for its Antimicrobial Medicines Consumption Network.

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