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Antimicrobial resistance and integration issues

As we all know antibiotics delivered in the early years of the 40s, is a great turning point in the history of human medicine. Antibiotics help save millions of people from infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, diphtheria, meningitis, septicemia, etc. However, due to the natural selection process of bacteria as well as the use of antibiotics incompatible with the cause of disease, underuse, misuse, overdose and abuse of antibiotic in agriculture is one of the causes of increasing antibiotic resistance of pathogenic bacteria. Medical costs, economic and social impacts, as well as burden of disease and death from antimicrobial resistance are more and more increasing.

In 2011, on World Health Day April 7, in response to this problem, the World Health Organization (WHO) took the slogan: “No action today, no cure tomorrow” to call for nations all over the world to join hands to fight against antimicrobial resistance.

Vietnam has responded strongly to this call and is one of the first six countries in the Asia Pacific region developed a National Action Plan on Antimicrobial resistance from 2013 to 2020 with the participation of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

According to the World Health Organization’s report on Global Antimicrobial Resistance in 2014, compiled from 114 countries across the region, shows that patients are hospitalized longer and the mortality rate increases in all age group. In Europe, the number of hospitalization days increased by 2.5 million days, the death rate of 25,000 people per year, in Thailand, increased by more than 3.2 million hospitalized and 38,000 deaths per year, in the United States about 2 million people infected with infectious diseases and died 23,000 people per year.

This has tremendous economic and social implications (in the United States direct costs are more than $ 20 billion a year and indirect costs are more than $ 30 billion a year), especially in countries with low and middle incomes

Antimicrobial Resistance has a great impact on the economy, the general development of society not only for Vietnam but also affects all countries in the world, especially in the global era as present.

Therefore, in May 2015, the World Health Assembly approved the 68th resolution on the Global Plan for Antimicrobial Resistance. This plan reflects the member countries’ deeply concern about Antimicrobial resistance to human health in the future. The overall goal of this Plan is to maintain the effective treatment of existing antibiotics by using responsible antibiotics. One of the Five Strategic Goals of the Plan is to strengthen the provision of evidence through the promotion of a global surveillance and research program on antimicrobial resistance.

In May 2015, members of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) adopted a resolution on antimicrobial resistance and in June 2015 the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has also adopted a similar resolution on antimicrobial resistance.

Thus, these three organizations (WHO – FAO – OIE) have been working together to implement the “One Health” approach.

For Viet Nam, this multi-sectoral commitment is reflected in “The Aide Memoire of Multi-stakeholder Engagement to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance in Viet Nam” signed in June 2015 between the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and international organizations (WHO, FAO, OUCRU) and development partners (USA, Japan, UK), ect.

Since then, Vietnam has been promoting many activities such as:

  • Establishing the National Steering Committee on antimicrobial resistance for the period from 2013 to 2020 (Decision No. 879 / QD-BYT dated March 13, 2014 consisting of representatives from Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Decision No. 5888 / QD-BYT dated 10/10/2016 including representatives from four ministries: Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and environment).
  • Establishment of 09 Sub-Committees for Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring from 2013 to 2020 (Decision No. 2888 / QD-BYT dated August 5, 2014).
  • Establish and regulate the functions and tasks of the network for surveillance of antibiotic resistant bacteria in health care facilities (Decision No. 6211/QD-BYT dated October 17, 2016).
  • Establish a National Antimicrobial Resistance Supervision Unit under the Medical Services Administration (Decision No. 3391 / QD-BYT dated August 14, 2015).
  • In addition, the Ministry of Health has developed and issued many regulations, professional guidelines, training to strengthen the capacity of health care professionals in microbiology and antibiotic use management.
  • The Ministry of Health has promoted many communication activities to raise awareness among the community and health care professionals about antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance: developing leaflets, handbooks, posters, radio messages, television messages, video clips, ect about antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance; The organization launches a commitment to responsible antibiotic use in health facilities, medical and pharmaceutical universities, institutions, management agencies, the antimicrobial resistance fan page, and a media week for antimicrobial resistance in November annually.

Viet Nam has been actively integrating into the world as participating in the Global Health Security Project (GHS); strengthen the response to the global epidemic threat, promote Universal Health Coverage (UHC) up to 2030; improve, promote the model of health care for the elderly; Commit joining with all over the world to fight strongly antimicrobial resistance.

In April 2004, the Minister of Health of Vietnam together with the Ministers of Agriculture of 14 countries in the Asia Pacific region discussed and approved the Tokyo Declaration on antimicrobial resistance.

In September 2016, at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the leaders of the countries have called for and maintained the strong political commitment of the international community, the region and countries to support programs and projects and raise awareness of antimicrobial resistance.

Antimicrobial resistance is considered by ASEAN to be one of the top 10 priorities issues in the health development agenda after 2015. In November 2016, Vietnam and ASEAN countries discussed ASEAN Declaration on Antimicrobial resistance and at this forum in May, 2017 in the Philippines, Vietnam along with ASEAN continues to discuss the adoption the ASEAN Declaration on Antimicrobial Resistance.

Together with other countries in the region and in the world, Vietnam looks forward to contributing its efforts to the fight against Antimicrobial Resistance in the Asia-Pacific region and globally.