|Some 350 doctors in the region join in a forum in HCM City to discuss antibiotic resistance and lower respiratory tract infections. — VNS Photo
HCM CITY (VNS) — The healthcare community, including medical staff and patients, should choose antibiotics more carefully, paying attention to the safety, origin and quality of medicines and avoiding overuse, doctors said at the 9th Asian Respiratory Tract Infections forum held in HCM City last weekend.
With a focus on urgent issues in managing lower respiratory tract infections, the forum attracted more than 350 doctors in the Asian region, including Viet Nam, to discuss challenges posed by antimicrobial resistance and the need to select the most appropriate antibiotic therapies.
Lower respiratory tract infections have become more prevalent, and there is growing evidence of an increasing proportion of community-acquired pneumonia cases being caused by drug-resistant bacteria in the past decade, both in adults and children, the forum heard.
Tran Van Ngoc, head of the Respirology Department of Cho Ray Hospital, said that "a report from the Asian Network for Surveillance of Resistant Pathogens showed that S. pneumonia, the common cause of community-acquired pneumonia, had resisted more than three antimicrobials with a proportion of 75.7 per cent in Viet Nam."
He added that "the overuse of antibiotics from both healthcare providers and patients, the inappropriate choice of low-quality antibiotics and the incorrect dosages of antibiotic usage have led to a serious increase in antibiotic resistance."
As a result, healthcare costs and the time needed for treatment had both risen.
Ngoc said there was a strong correlation between antibiotic abuse or misuse and the emerging resistance to major bacterial pathogens.
Therefore, surveillance of antimicrobial resistance and educational and campaign activities for appropriate use of antibiotics and vaccinations to prevent invasive pneumococcal disease are important steps for prevention and control of antimicrobial resistance, he said.
Le Thi Tuyet Lan, president of HCM City Society of Respirology, told the forum that "within the Asia Pacific region in general and Viet Nam in particular, the increasing resistance to many antibiotic classes has resulted in an increase in healthcare costs."
To solve the problem, participants shared their insights and experience on how to better use medicine.
They updated medical best practices in the management of pneumonia and acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive disease, as well as new advances in the management of challenging the diseases.
Jointly organised by HCM City Society of Respirology and the representative office of Bayer (South East Asia) Pte Ltd in HCM City, the forum is an annual event held in the Asia Pacific region. — VNS