Vietnam Time

12/23/2018 3:29:51 PM

Vietnam scales up efforts against antibiotic resistance

Vietnam is calling for a stronger commitment in dealing with antibiotic resistance.

Delegates in the event (source: VNA)

The Government of Vietnam, led by the National Steering Committee for Antibiotic Resistance, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) Representative Office in Vietnam, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and other One Health partners, called for stronger commitments from all sectors to “Handle antibiotics with care” during a public advocacy event held in Ho Chi Minh City on December 21.

With participation from various sectors, including medical practitioners, pharmacists and other health professionals, farmers, veterinarians, the food and agriculture industry, the academia, the general public and other stakeholders, the public advocacy event provided a venue to raise awareness of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and encourage everyone to actively take part in this collective action.

The event included a parade, in which the participants and volunteer students, walked around selected main streets of Ho Chi Minh City carrying messages on combating AMR.

“We continue to reach out to as many sectors as possible and involve them in our collective effort to stop the misuse and overuse of antibiotics. Our profession-specific and awareness raising activities targeting various groups of people, including the general public, reflect that we recognize how different approaches are necessary to ensure our people understand the problem and are committed to contribute in addressing it,” said Professor Dr. Nguyen Viet Tien, Vice-Minister of Health and Chair of the National Steering Committee for Antibiotic Resistance in Vietnam.

The National Action Plan on AMR 2013-2020 is currently being reviewed, and discussions on the development of the action plan to succeed it have been going on among the leaders of the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), with support from WHO, FAO, OIE and other partners working on AMR in the country.

“We commend Vietnam for keeping the momentum in the fight against AMR. Bringing together multiple sectors towards a common goal is not easy as priorities differ, but the country has been managing the challenge well. It is great to see various sectors joining efforts to keep antibiotics working for the future generations, and we will continue to support Vietnam in this journey,” jointly stated by Dr. Kidong Park, WHO Representative in Vietnam, and Dr. Albert T. Lieberg, FAO Representative in Vietnam.

WHO currently works with MOH in strengthening antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) implementation in hospitals. AMS is a systematic and coordinated approach to optimizing antimicrobial use aiming to improve its effectiveness to patients and reduce its adverse consequences, including antibiotic resistance.

Since November 2018, WHO and MOH have visited a number of hospitals nationwide to provide guidance on AMS implementation. WHO will also support MOH in bringing forward messaging tailored at community level.

“As we continue our work on strengthening capacities to manage AMR at hospital and other healthcare facility settings, we also aim to penetrate communities and ‘normalize’ the key roles played by certain individuals, groups and sectors in combating AMR,” Dr. Park further talked about WHO’s priority AMR activities for Vietnam in the coming year.

“Food production and farmers’ livelihood can be damaged due to loss of effective antibiotics to treat sick animals. Moreover, farmers’ health can be at risk while handling animals carrying resistant bacteria. FAO therefore would like to call for stronger actions from national and provincial government, development partners and the public to reduce unnecessary use of antimicrobial and mitigate AMR threats,” Dr. Lieberg remarked.

FAO works with MARD in improving responsible use of antibiotics in the animal health sector. Among their key collaborative activities are a training program targeting food animal producers, which aim to increase their antibiotic stewardship, advocacy workshops to enforce implementation of national regulations focusing on local government authorities and private sector, and enhance coordination among human and animal health sectors in relation to antibiotic resistance surveillance and mitigation./.

  ( VNF/VNA )
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