Professionals from the Americas are trained to improve surveillance of antimicrobial consumption in the countries

training online

Washington DC, January 31, 2021 (PAHO) - The course on the "World Health Organization methodology of for a global programme on surveillance of antimicrobial consumption," developed by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), ended with 20 participants from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Paraguay, and Peru. The course sought to improve knowledge about antimicrobials in general and their consumption in particular. The initiative was aimed at the countries that joined the antimicrobial consumption registry project. 

It was an online self-study course, hosted on the PAHO Virtual Campus of Public Health, and it addressed the following topics: introduction to the use of antimicrobials, a methodology to measure antimicrobial consumption, the importance of having a national surveillance system of antimicrobial consumption, sources of information for the survey of antimicrobial consumption, and data collection model.

The course was coordinated by experts from the Centro Universitario de Farmacologia de Argentina (known in Spanish as CUFAR), PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center.

The objectives of the course were raised to help each participant to:

  • Have an overview of antimicrobial resistance and its relationship with the use of these medicines.
  • Distinguish the differences between acquisition, prescription, use, and consumption of antimicrobials.
  • Learn the methodologies to measure the consumption of antimicrobials.
  • Reflect on the importance of having surveillance of antimicrobial consumption at the country level.
  • Identify sources of information on antimicrobial consumption.
  • Recognize a consumption data collection model at the country level.
  • Practice loading data into the instruments that they would later use for the definitive data record o their country.

Once the course was finished, a personalized virtual tutorial was carried out with each participant to monitor the actual data upload in the country and detect and control possible data upload errors.

The misuse of antimicrobials has been associated with the development of resistance of microorganisms previously sensitive to these medicines, which is why optimizing the way they are used is an added value in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

This initiative supports and facilitates what countries have already approved in the framework of their National Action Plans on antimicrobial resistance, and is part of the project “Working together to fight antimicrobial resistance”, which is being developed with the support of the European Union, in conjunction with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Organization World Animal Health Organization (OIE).