FDI attends WHO meeting on health workforce education and control of antimicrobial resistance

FDI was present at an expert consultation organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) on health workforce education and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) control. The meeting took place 23-24 March at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. FDI was represented by Dr Susie Sanderson from the British Dental Association. Dr Sanderson was the sole dental representative among some 30 experts from diverse backgrounds, all active in antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) leadership and research across the world.

The consultation’s objective – in line with the WHO global action plan on antimicrobial resistance – was to outline the needs and define the tools necessary to ensure that health workers are educated and/or trained to level of competence needed for effective AMS to limit AMR. This will help guide countries as they develop their own national action plans since many include addressing pre- and in-service training on AMR, with a focus on appropriate use.

A study entitled “Mapping Educational Opportunities and Resources for Health Care Workers to Learn about Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship Around the World”, commissioned by WHO and conducted by the Global Research Lab at Ottawa University, was also presented at the meeting. The mapping exercise was established to identify existing educational programmes (mainly aimed at AMS) in medicine, pharmacology, and nursing.

At the end of the two-day meeting, it was agreed to take forward some of the action points. They include: a global multidisciplinary competency framework for AMR; more detailed global prototype curricula for AMR education, tailored to different professional groups; a global analysis/monitoring tool to assess capacity in national AMR education; and a community of practice housing an AMR knowledge repository/toolkit that provides a facility for dialogue, exchange, sourcing of expertise and networking on the topic.

FDI’s approach to antimicrobial stewardship

The meeting provides a timely contribution to FDI’s own work on AMS, which is currently one of the focus areas of its Science Committee. They will be holding a session on AMS/AMR at the World Dental Congress in Madrid, Spain, on 29 August. This Science Committee Forum will cover the scope of the AMR problem, the dental perspective, developing policy and guidelines, and the educational aspect. The session follows a member consultation by the Science Committee, asking National Dental Associations to submit their national guidelines for dentists on AMR. The Science Committee will continue its work in 2018.