Communication and Enabling Behaviours

The Swedish population has a relatively broad understanding of the responsible use of antibiotics, as measured by the Eurobarometer in 2022. A contributing factor to the comparatively high levels of understanding can be attributed to continuous communication efforts aiming to increase awareness of antibiotic resistance and use, as well as the importance of infection prevention and control.

People of different age, gender and race talking. Illustration.

The Eurobarometer and the results from the 2022 survey (

The National Campaign Save Antibiotics

Save Antibiotics (Skydda Antibiotikan) is a national campaign by the Intersectoral Coordinating Mechanism that provides the public with clear and simple messages about antibiotics and the role everyone can play in preventing infections and safeguarding antibiotics.

Save Antibiotics (

Based on the Swedish experience, it is important to take advantage of existing resources and institutions to involve and integrate different parts of society. Data from surveillance and comparisons of antibiotic prescribing and other statistics are used to inform communication activities, i.e. in developing messages and interviews with media.

Building an Antibiotic Smart Sweden

Antibiotic Smart Sweden is an initiative by national, regional and local actors within public health, research and innovation. It invites citizens and a wide range of public and private stakeholders to take part in the work against antibiotic resistance within their own fields. To achieve this, different stakeholders have developed criteria as well as working methods and strategies to fulfill these.

Antibiotic Smart Sweden

Enabling and Sustaining Behaviours

Behavioural Insights, also referred to as Behavioural and Cultural Insights by WHO Europe, involve a systematic approach to understanding the underlying factors driving various behaviours. The goal is to develop more tailored and effective interventions and integrate this understanding into public health initiatives. Behavioural insights is a strategy aimed at promoting equitable health outcomes for all target groups, particularly those at higher risk of poor health. It serves as a structured tool for public health interventions across different levels to promote health equity.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden has established an agency-wide working group, a BI-team. The team’s task is to develop and institutionalise knowledge about behavioural insights within the agency and foster collaboration with other governmental bodies and stakeholders, as well as international entities such as the ECDC and WHO Europe.

Participation in international campaigns

The WHO and ECDC both have annual campaigns highlighting the issue of antibiotic resistance. These are acknowledged in November as recurring opportunities to reinforce messages and broaden communication networks and channels, in both national and international contexts.

The World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (

European Antibiotics Awareness Day (

The work to address antibiotic resistance is also connected to other aspects of public health and communicable disease prevention and control, such as the work to increase vaccination coverage.

World Immunization Week (