Stanford’s Antimicrobial Safety and Sustainability program (SASS)  has been designated a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship.  This is the first designation of its kind worldwide for antimicrobial stewardship.

To be designated a WHO collaborating centre, an institution must demonstrate at least 2 years of collaborative work with the WHO.  One product of this collaboration has been a free online course that demonstrates how front-line clinicians can incorporate antimicrobial stewardship in their everyday practice. This popular course has enrolled over 20,000 students worldwide in just over 1 year. resistance has become a global health emergency, comparable to that of climate change in complexity, severity, and the urgency necessary to deal with it.  The UN Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance in consultation with WHO released a report in April 2019 entitled No Time to Wait: Securing the future from drug-resistant infections.  One report predicts that antimicrobial resistant infections could cause 10 million deaths globally each year by 2050.  As a consequence, the authors of the report demand immediate and coordinated action to avert disaster.  A key element of the necessary response is the strict stewardship of antimicrobial use in human medicine, as well as in other domains.  Optimizing the use of antimicrobial agents is one of five strategic objectives set out in the WHO global action plan on antimicrobial resistance.

The collaborating centre designation provides a formalized relationship between SASS and WHO.    In this capacity, SASS will continue to support WHO activities aimed at strengthening Member States’ capacity to contain antimicrobial resistance through the implementation of antimicrobial stewardship. This will include developing training and educational material suitable for global use.

Terms of Reference

  1. Support WHO in activities designed to strengthen Member States’ capacity to contain AMR through the implementation of antimicrobial stewardship programs in clinical care 
  2. Support WHO in the continuous development and refinement of educational curricula and programs designed to enhance the competency of antimicrobial prescribers in Member States 

Types of Activity

  1. Product development (guidelines; manual; methodologies; etc.) 
  2. Providing technical advice to WHO 
  3. Training and education 

WHO Outputs

  1. Appropriate use and availability of antimicrobial medicines in human health and food production settings as a contribution to improving access to and maintaining effectiveness of treatment