WHO Bulletin: Health workers’ education and training to prevent antimicrobial resistance

2 December, 2019

Citation, selected extracts and a comment from me below.

CITATION: Health workers’ education and training to prevent antimicrobial resistance

Onyema Ajuebor, Nandini Shetty, Karen Mah & Giorgio Cometto.

Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2019;97:791-791A. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2471/BLT.19.241802


Antimicrobial resistance is a global public health concern that threatens to reverse the advancements achieved in medicine and health-care delivery. Competent and motivated health workers are essential to fight antimicrobial resistance. However, gaps in the education and training of health workers are curbing their ability to mitigate the spread of antimicrobial resistance. One such gap is the lack of global standards in education and training on this topic...

Several tools for competency-based education and training on antimicrobial resistance exist. The development of educational materials is centred on a stepwise process of establishing competency frameworks for health workers according to their roles and allowed scopes of practice, and then defining relevant and context-specific curricula, learning materials and assessment methods...

The first objective of the global action plan is to improve the awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance through effective communication, education and training of health workers. The World Health Organization (WHO) developed the global competency framework for education and training on antimicrobial resistance as a complementary global resource to help achieve this objective.

The framework offers guidance on vital antimicrobial resistance-related competencies that are relevant for health workers across the spectrum of health-care delivery, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory technicians, health services managers and public health officers, but also those in supportive or administrative roles...

To address antimicrobial resistance, health workers will benefit from more and improved training on the subject, including good antimicrobial prescribing practice for clinicians...


WHO noted in 2011 that 'Globally, most prescribers receive most of their prescribing information from the pharmaceutical industry and in many countries this is the only information they receive.' World Medicines Report, WHO. Unfortunately there is no evidence that access to reliable information on medicines has improved since then, and indeed some key publications such as the British National Formulary (old print copies of which are widely treasured in low-income countries) have become *less* accessible. There is an urgent need for trusted, reliable information to guide not only the use of individual medicines but also, even more importantly, to guide the selection of medicines and thereby promote rational prescribing (and decelerate rampant antimicrobial resistance).

Best wishes, Neil

Joint Coordinator HIFA Project on Information for Prescribers and Users of Medicines


Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org