18th November 2020
The Antibiotic Resistance Symbol has been selected in a design contest launched by the European Joint Action on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare-Associated Infections (EU-JAMRAI)
The increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics is a serious public health threat. It is responsible for around 33,000 deaths every year in the European Union, a figure which could dramatically rise by 2050 if no action is taken. However, there is not yet a collective perception of the true extent of this problem, and its implications in health crisis such as COVID-19.
With the aim of raising awareness in society, the European Joint Action on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare-Related Infections (EU-JAMRAI) has presented the first global symbol representing the fight against antibiotic resistance. It is intended to be as emblematic as the AIDS red ribbon, helping to make visible to the citizens the serious impact of antibiotics’ loss of effectiveness.
The Antibiotic Resistance Symbol was selected among more than 600 applications from 44 countries received for the graphic design contest launched by EU-JAMRAI during 2019 ECDC’s European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) celebration in Stockholm. The competition encouraged participants from all over the world to send in their proposals under these premises: it should be something tangible, that anyone, anywhere, could make at home and wear with pride, like the AIDS red ribbon. The call reached 600,000 people in social media.
The winner was David Ljungberg (Sweden), a Product Designer and Art Director working in the fields of medtech, energy, and circular economy. With multiple awards for his work in advertising, he now specializes in user-focused design that bridges the communication gap between science and the general public.
The jury was made up of members of several organisations involved in the fight against antimicrobial resistance, such as ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control), JPI-AMR (Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance), or OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). They particularly scored Ljungberg’s application on four points: “Conveying the message of antibiotic resistance”; “Easily understandable universal concept”; “Aesthetic and positive”; and “Inspirational”.
The emblem consists of two iconic red and white capsules in the shape of a cross, easily recognisable as medicines, which are formed by assembling a red and a white heart.
According to its designer: “Rather than being scientific, I wanted the symbol to represent something that the general public can relate to. The different elements convey a strong message to rally behind, while keeping a very simplistic yet powerful shape.”
The official launch of the Antibiotic Resistance Symbol will be supported by a digital campaign on EU-JAMRAI’s social networks with the theme “Be a change maker: craft your own symbol, wear it with pride and raise awareness about antibiotic resistance”. The aim is to reach out to the whole society and to convey the message that anyone can contribute to preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics.
EU-JAMRAI encourages citizens to craft their own symbol and share their pictures and videos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, mentioning @EUJamrai, with the hashtags: #AntibioticResistanceSymbol #AMR #KeepAntibioticsWorking
Templates and a media kit are available to download from the EU-JAMRAI website: https://eu-jamrai.eu/antibiotic-resistance-symbol
This campaign is being launched on the occasion of the European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) (18h November), and the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) (18-24 November).
EU-JAMRAI is a European Union Joint Action on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and Healthcare-Associated Infections (HCAI) that brings together 44 partners and more than 40 stakeholders. Its mission is to foster synergies among UE Member States by developing and implementing effective One Health policies to fight the rising threat of AMR and to reduce HCAI.
EU-JAMRAI is co-funded by their partners and the Health Programme of the European Union. https://eu-jamrai.eu
More information and promotional materials here
Social Media: @EUjamrai
Contest hashtag: #antibioticresistancesymbol