Reckitt supports effective sore throat treatment in Vietnam

September 19, 2022 - 13:09
HCM CITY — Leading experts in otolaryngology discussed a number of issues at a workshop titled ‘Sore throat - Right understanding for proper solutions’ held in HCM City.

Organised by the Vietnamese Society of Otorhinolaryngology (VSO) and Reckitt Vietnam, it attracted nearly 500 doctors and pharmacists.

Speaking at its opening Assoc.Prof.Dr. Tran Phan Chung Thuy, president of VSO, said sore throat is the most common among ENT (ear – nose – throat) diseases, and though it could go away on its own, it also becomes chronic or causes serious complications if not treated promptly and properly.

Assoc.Prof.Dr. Tran Phan Chung Thuy says antibiotic abuse in Vietnam may lead to “no cure for severe diseases”.

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Misunderstanding the use of antibiotics in the treatment for acute pharyngitis is one of the biggest causes of antibiotic abuse in Vietnam, she said.

Overuse of antibiotics is becoming a global problem, leading to severe antibiotic resistance,  and community health is more than ever at stake, she warned.

It is no exaggeration to say this threat could easily take people back to the pre-antibiotic era since antibiotics would become useless if this situation continues, and then there would be no cure for several diseases, she said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has listed Viet Nam among countries with the highest rate of antibiotic resistance in the world. TheState of the World’s Antibiotics 2015 by the US  IMS Health showed that Viet Nam was one of countries abusing antibiotics.

While many developed countries still effectively use first-generation antibiotics, Viet Nam has had to switch to third- or fourth-generation antibiotics.

“More worryingly, we have found some strains of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi that are resistant to most of the antibiotics,” Thuy said.

Therefore, the series of workshops organised by VSO and Reckitt helps doctors, pharmacists and health workers get updates on treatment for sore throat apart from raising awareness about the use of antibiotics in the treatment of ENT diseases.

The workshop also discussed antibiotic resistance in Vietnam, updates on the treatment for acute pharyngitis in the post-pandemic periodand the role of topical medicines.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bui Thi Huong Quynh, deputy director of the pharmacy department at HCMC’s  Thong Nhat Hospital, said using the right medicines for the treatment of respiratory diseases is very important.

People should consider the usage of antibiotics (unless there is a clear diagnosis of infectious diseases). They could seek support from local anti-inflammatory pain relievers (NSAIDs - a group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with many different active ingredients and without addictive effects).

Dr. Nguyen Thi Thu Loan, medical director of Reckitt Vietnam decreasing the use of antibiotics would slow down the emergence of antibiotic resistance in the community.

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Dr. Nguyen Thi Thu Loan, medical director of Reckitt Vietnam, expressed a similar opinion, saying overuse of antibiotics in treating acute pharyngitis increases antibiotic resistance. 

Moreover, decreasing the use of antibiotics would slow down the emergence of antibiotic resistance in the community, she said.

She said in treating acute pharyngitis, in addition to supportive measures such as reducing pain and fevers with paracetamol, usingenough water and adequate nutrition, using lozenges with active therapeutic ingredients such as low flurbiprofen 8.75mg  (also in the NSAID group) could effectively help treat the symptoms of sore throat.

The series of ‘Sore throat – Right understanding for proper solutions’ workshops will continue on September 23, 2022, at the Novotel Hanoi. 

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Cong Dinh, head of the otolaryngologydepartment, Bach Mai Hospital, will deliver the welcome speech and provide an update on the diagnosis and treatment of acute pharyngitis.

Dr. Nguyen Thi Tuyen of the National Centre of Drug Information and AdverseDrug Reactions Monitoring will speak about the usage of antibiotics in the treatment of ENT diseases and antibiotic resistance in Vietnam.

Sore throat is a common symptom of pharyngitis caused by an upper respiratory tract infection that affects the vast majority of adults an average of twice to four times a year. 

Eight out of 10 cases of sore throat are not dangerous, and go away on their own. A small number of cases remain due to bacteria and other causes. Overuse of antibiotics for acute pharyngitis increases the rate of antibiotic resistance.

Reckitt is a growing corporation with more than 43,000 members. In Viet Nam, over the years Reckitt has co-operated with medical experts and the Ministry of Health to carry out voluntary projects including Metabolics, which has been implemented since 2014 to provide free specialized milk to infants and children suffering fromcongenital metabolic disorder. In 2019 Reckitt Vietnam and the Ministry of Health’s maternal and child health department launched a project for the prevention of neonatal jaundice with the first phase worth over VND10 billion. Reckitt sponsored 100 phototherapy devices for treatment of neonatal jaundice in 96 province- and district-level hospitals in 10 cities and provinces across the country. Besides, the company supported the development and dissemination of training materials on early detection, diagnosis and treatment of the disease to healthcare workers and provision of information about the disease to parents.