|The National Steering Committee for Antibiotic Resistance and UN agencies call for stronger commitments from all sectors to handle antibiotics with care at a ceremony in HCM City on Friday. — Photo plo.vn
HCM CITY— “Handle antibiotics with care” was the call given by the National Steering Committee for Antibiotic Resistance, the World Health Organisation and Food and Agriculture Organisation to all sectors at a ceremony held in HCM City on Friday.
With the participation of medical practitioners, pharmacists, other health professionals, farmers, veterinarians, the food and agriculture industry, and other stakeholders, the event aimed to raise awareness of anti-microbial resistance and encourage everyone to actively take part in the collective action.
Antibiotic sales without prescription in community pharmacies is common in Việt Nam, potentially leading to the development and spread of resistance to antibiotics, Momoe Takeuchi, team leader of Health Systems at the WHO office in Việt Nam, said.
Statistics released by WHO showed that 90 per cent of pharmacies in Việt Nam supply antibiotics without prescriptions and 87 per cent of residents come to pharmacies to buy antibiotics without a prescription, she said.
In 2013 Việt Nam approved a national action plan to combat anti-microbial resistance, but there is no data on antibiotic resistance available in the country.
Việt Nam should adopt a programme to supervise the usage of antibiotics in a stricter and more responsible manner, not only in the healthcare sector but also in the agricultural sector, she added.
WHO is currently working with the Ministry of Health to strengthen anti-microbial stewardship (AMS) implementation in hospitals. AMS is a systematic and co-ordinated approach to optimising anti-microbial use to improve its effectiveness on patients and reduce its adverse consequences, including antibiotic resistance.
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Trường Sơn said many hospitals have set up anti-microbial stewardship, resulting in a significant reduction in antibiotic overuse.
Howerver, improper prescriptions of antibiotics by doctors at private hospitals and clinics and over-the-counter sale of antibiotics by pharmacies remain a major concern, he admitted.
The overuse of antibiotics poses a serious health risk and makes hospital stays longer and increases fatality rates among patients of all ages, he said. — VNS