Antimicrobial stewardship refers to coordinated interventions designed to improve and measure the appropriate use of antimicrobial agents by promoting the selection of the optimal antibiotic drug regimens including, dose, duration of therapy and route of administration. Amidst this COVID-19 pandemic, we bring you several free online courses about antimicrobial stewardship – a topic that tackles all aspects of antibiotic resistance – a public health threat.
Any course that you enrol in will inform you about – and empower you to provide – safe, high-quality antibiotic use. Antibiotics are some of the most prescribed class of drugs around the globe. About 50% of antibiotic use in any setting are inappropriate – and yet, when compared to other categories of drugs, every antibiotic prescribed has a potential public health effect. When we prescribe antibiotics inappropriately, we may harm the patient. And also contribute to societal harm through exerting unnecessary selective pressure that may lead to antibiotic resistance among the bacteria.
Throughout the courses, you will be introduced to the basic principles of appropriate antibiotic use, demonstrate how to apply these principles to the management of common infections, and outline how to develop and maintain an antimicrobial stewardship program.
Communicable diseases are the leading causes of death in many African countries. The use of antibiotics on this mother continent is alarming – yet, there are still a few high-quality laboratory services. Taking up the online course from FutureLearn about Antimicrobial Stewardship for Africa – a 3-weeks’ course will enable you to explore the burden of antimicrobial resistance in Africa and the importance of microbiology investigations in antibiotic therapy.
The online course at Coursera is part of a free online course offered by the Stanford Center for Continuing Medical Education. The two-course series differ in that the one at Coursera provides a certificate only. The one at the Stanford online website provides both CME credit and a certificate. Click here for the course at Stanford University or here for the two courses at FutureLearn. In any of the three-course providing platforms used in this article, you’ll interact with colleagues globally to understand what antibiotic resistance means. Enjoy the learning.