Launch of the ARCH International Training Programme funded by VLIR-UOS and DGD

January 26, 2024



The International Training Programme (ITP) on Antimicrobial Resistance Containment  in Hospital settings (ARCH) in West Africa, funded by the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR-UOS) and the Belgian Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DGD), was launched in September 2023 and will run until August 2026. This ITP is a collaboration between the KU Leuven (Leuven University, Belgium; ITP promoter), the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM, Belgium) and the Laboratoire de Référence des Mycobactéries (LRM, Benin). The goal is to develop a field-adapted, multidisciplinary training package on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) containment in hospital settings and to train healthcare staff of selected hospitals from a country-wide AMR surveillance network in Benin and other francophone countries in West Africa (e.g. Burkina Faso, Guinea).

The training package will consist of three consecutive modules: (1) a preparatory online module, (2) a starter module and (3) an advanced module. Each module will consist of a common track and 2 discipline-specific tracks: (1) a clinical bacteriology track and (2) a clinical track combining antibiotic stewardship and infection prevention and control. Each module will be organized three times along the ITP programme, with 10 participants per track. Outstanding ITP participants will be coached as trainers (“Train the Trainer”) to assure transfer of training competence and sustainability.

As a first activity, Mrs. Myriam Dossou, a paediatric nurse from the National University Hospital Centre (CNHU-HKM) in Cotonou, Benin, was invited to ITM in December 2023. Myriam spent two weeks in the Skills lab at ITM to prepare a practical session on the prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infections and intravascular catheter related infections. During this time, she prepared procedures, practiced these procedures using a healthcare nursing mannequin, took photos of good and bad clinical practice when performing the procedures,wrote outlines and material lists for the practical session. The exchange with colleagues from ITM was fruitful and informative.

The first training modules will be organized in May 2024 in Cotonou, Benin. Current activities include the selection of participants and the preparation and finetuning of the various training sessions.




Picture showing the inflation of the balloon of a Foley indwelling urinary catheter before insertion (example of a good practice)


Myriam Dossou (CNHU-HKM, Bénin) and Peter Hyland (ITM, Belgium) at work in the Skills lab at ITM, Belgium

Antibiotic stewardship



Surveillance bacteriology