Training health professionals to reduce antimicrobial resistance – The AMR-EDUCare project kicks off
14 April 2023
EHMA is pleased to announce the start of a new project, AMR-EDUCare – EduCation on Antimicrobial REsistance for the health workforce. The project will equip clinical and non-clinical staff with the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to prevent the spread of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). The project will contribute to changing the behaviours and professional practices of the health workforce for more prudent use and handling of antimicrobials covering different areas: prescription, waste management and patient empowerment. Health management professionals will improve their knowledge and skills in antimicrobial waste reduction, and greener waste management practices. From EHMA’s side, we will set up a working group of health management professionals to identify skill gaps in antimicrobial waste management and share best practices that can improve the management of antimicrobial waste, and a business model to sustain the project training courses beyond the project lifetime.
We are pleased to announce the launch of a new EU-funded project, AMR-Educare – EduCation on Antimicrobial REsistance for the health workforce. The project will develop educational materials for healthcare professionals to reduce the spread and exposure to Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). Through three specific courses, it will optimise antimicrobial prescribing, reduce antimicrobial waste, and empower patients through effective communication.
AMR occurs when changes in bacteria cause the drugs used to treat infections to become less effective. It has emerged as one of the leading public health threats of the 21st century, annually responsible for an estimated 33,000 deaths and €1.5 billion in healthcare costs and productivity losses in the EU. Globally, it has been calculated that 1.27m people died in 2019 from infections attributable to antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) (Murray et al., 2022). Without effective antimicrobials, infections would be much harder to treat and the risk of disease spread, severe illness, and death would significantly increase, including during major surgery and cancer chemotherapy.
Whilst AMR is a natural process, the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials are dangerously accelerating its progress. There is a strong correlation between levels of antimicrobial use and levels of resistance. It is therefore crucial to address the inappropriate use and overuse of antimicrobials to slow down the development of AMR. Another contributing factor to resistance is antimicrobial residues entering the environment. They can do so throughout their life cycle: manufacturing discharges; excretion (up to 80% of antibiotics are excreted through urine and faeces); and improper disposal. These residues pollute the environment, exert selective pressure that increases the prevalence of resistance, and drive the development of new antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria.
The project will therefore develop training programmes targeting medical doctors, nurses, community pharmacists and health management professionals in six EU countries where AMR is particularly high (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Hungary and Lithuania). The training programmes will focus on behaviour change and digital upskilling in the areas of prescription, waste management and patient empowerment to reduce the spread of and exposure to AMR. The training will be developed and delivered in cooperation with academic institutions from the six target countries, European and national health professional associations and member state authorities.
EHMA will play an important role in securing the long-term sustainability of the project’s training materials and resources by developing a business model for their commercialisation beyond the project lifetime. Further, EHMA will set up a health management professionals working group and organise a multi-disciplinary co-creation workshop to identify skill gaps in antimicrobial waste management and share best practices. The solutions to promote will particularly focus on procurement, logistics and planning of antimicrobial waste management.READ THE PRESS RELEASE
Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or HaDEA. Neither the European Union nor HaDEA can be held responsible for them.
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