WHO releases Global Action Plan on antimicrobial resistance, BSAC Comments

The World Health Organisation has published its first Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance with an overall aim of ensuring appropriate management of infectious diseases with effective and safe treatments to all who require them now and in the future.

Read the WHO news release 

The British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) welcomes the release of the Global Action Plan which highlights the importance of education, comprehensive data collection systems, professional leadership and public awareness, acknowledging AMR is a global concern and the UK cannot address it alone.

BSAC is pleased to note the importance given to raising awareness and improving education.  Through Antibiotic Action (http://antibiotic-action.com/ ), since November 2011, this is an area in which we have been very active. We are particularly pleased that the WHO has not only focused on improving awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance within the healthcare sector but also within the general population highlighting the impact of resistant infections to society as a whole.

BSAC has been working tirelessly to provide information and education to healthcare workers and the public in the area of antimicrobial resistance.  We are therefore pleased to announce that, in conjunction with the University of Dundee, we are launching a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in Antimicrobial Stewardship: Managing Antibiotic Resistance in September 2015.  The MOOC is an open access, online six-week course designed for healthcare professionals, initially with a hospital focus.   This global course will inform learners about – and empower them to provide – safe, high quality antibiotic use.  Participants will interact with colleagues globally, to understand what antibiotic resistance means and develop the skills and interventions that underpin antimicrobial stewardship, learning to promote responsible prescribing to reduce variation in practice, reduce waste and harm from antibiotic overuse and misuse thereby enhancing patient safety and outcomes.  It is a course that will address antimicrobial stewardship across all economic healthcare settings and aims to meet the education and training objectives of the WHO action plan.  BSAC looks forward to welcoming worldwide participation on the MOOC in the autumn and to engage experts and professionals in the development of future material where the focus will be community prescribing. Special vulnerable populations and stewardship in the resource limited setting.

In addition to the MOOC the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy has a proven track record in initiatives working towards promoting understanding the landscape of resistance and demanding action.  Currently the Society is:

  • Continuing its high profile public and political engagement agenda via Antibiotic Action.
  • Developing a National Point Prevalence Survey and collection tool that will be free to all NHS Trusts which will enable collection of antimicrobial consumption data in a format that can used in bench-marking between organisations locally, regionally or nationally.  This system will fill the gap in knowledge concerning antimicrobial consumption many in-patient units.
  • Forging international links including collaborative seminars and conferences held in the Gulf States and India that support the establishment of national programmes of antimicrobial stewardship that are required to contain resistance, improve appropriate prescribing and improve patient outcomes.

We note with regret that the WHO Action Plan ‘proposes’ and ‘requests’ actions and outcomes from Member States, International and National Partners. We believe that the WHO should urgently recommendations and outcomes.

BSAC looks forward to receiving the proposed regular reports from the Secretariat outlining the progress of the implementation of the Action Plan and will actively seek opportunities to engage with and support the WHO and others to take forward implementation of its AMR action plan.