Virtual training helps understand antimicrobial resistance in food and agriculture
©FAO/Riccardo De Luca
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) – when antimicrobial drugs lose their effectiveness against microorganisms they should kill – is a global threat that affects human, animal, and environmental health. For effective action to prevent AMR, it is essential that all professionals handling antimicrobial drugs are well aware of this phenomenon and become familiar with the best practices to combat it.
To accelerate progress to address AMR, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) developed the free, certified, self-paced eLearning course ”Understanding antimicrobial resistance in food and agriculture” to transfer competencies to the actors working in the food and agriculture sector to better understand the spread of AMR and promote the prudent use of antimicrobial drugs. The course is available through FAO’s eLearning Academy platform in English and Spanish, and now, shortly before the World AMR Awareness Week (18–24 November), it launched in Russian as well.
“The online course provides relevant information to a variety of actors with a role and interest in antimicrobial resistance in food and agriculture, such as producers and distributors of antimicrobials, veterinarians, farmers, laboratory personnel, government officials, policy-makers, food safety officers, and academia, including students,” highlighted FAO animal health specialist Daniel Beltran-Alcrudo. “Now, as the three language versions are available, we can reach out to about 2 billion people.”
FAO’s work on AMR is guided by its Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2021–2025. In line with the objectives outlined in the action plan, the course gives an overview of the emergence, spread, and impacts of antimicrobial resistance in the food and agriculture sector, explains the potential role of different actors in mitigating the risk of the emergence of antimicrobial resistance, and summarizes the work of FAO to reduce AMR. Completing the course can contribute to the application of the One Health approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals, and ecosystems.
The course is offered free of charge, as a global public good, to anyone, at anytime and anywhere in the world. It consists of five lessons, accounting for a total study time of three hours, and offers a Digital Badge Certificate of competencies for those who successfully pass a final exam after completing the course.
The course was developed in collaboration with the United Kingdom’s Veterinary Medicines Directorate, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science and the Animal and Plant Health Agency.