Online course on diagnostics & AMR now available worldwide

At the 68th World Health Assembly in May 2015, the World Health Assembly endorsed a global action plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR), setting out five strategic objectives including the improved awareness and understanding of AMR.

Given the scarcity of educational materials for healthcare providers on the use of diagnostics to promote and reinforce best practice in the use of diagnostics in AMR control and prevention, I was very happy to contribute to a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the use of diagnostics for patient management to reduce inappropriate use of antibiotics, screen patients with resistant bacteria in healthcare settings, and monitor AMR trends and the effectiveness of antibiotic stewardship strategies.

The MOOC was created by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and BD, with input from a group of global advisors that included Cecilia Ferreyra, AMR Medical Officer at FIND. It is now available worldwide, with content available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

The course is intended for health professionals (clinicians, lab managers, technicians, nurses, nurse-practitioners, pharmacists, lab managers, technicians), faculty and students in higher education institutions such as medical schools or health agencies and anyone interested in the public health aspects and control of AMR.

The MOOC consists of 6 weekly modules addressing the following topics:

  • Week 1: Introduction to the role of diagnostics in the response to AMR
  • Week 2: Common clinical syndromes
  • Week 3: Healthcare associated infections
  • Week 4: Enteric infections and the One Health approach
  • Week 5: Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • Week 6: The future is in our hands

Throughout the course, examples from different settings (geographical, epidemiological, resource-level) are used as case studies. Mixed methods including news stories, reports, film/video, PowerPoint presentations, animations, case studies, and reference materials for further reading. References are made to web-based materials and published papers. All materials are provided electronically and downloadable for use as teaching materials.

A discussion forum is available for participants to interact and is moderated by faculty members of LSHTM when the course is offered.

With over 10,000 participants trained so far, the MOOC first launched in November of 2019, a second course launched in February 2020 and an additional training is planned during 2020.

The course is free of charge, with certification offered for a fee. Sign up here.

It is important that educational resources like these are used widely. Please do spread the word among your colleagues.