Antimicrobial Resistance: Accelerating global concerns and efforts
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is increasingly being recognized as one of the biggest threats to global health, impacting the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi.

All around the world, many common infections are becoming resistant to the antimicrobial medicines used to treat them, resulting in longer illnesses and more deaths. At the same time, not enough new antimicrobial drugs, especially antibiotics, are being developed to replace older and increasingly ineffective ones. Therefore, AMR has become a noticeable challenge to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. 

In order to strengthen the multi-sectoral commitment and efforts of all nations around the world in a joint response to AMR, a high level meeting was convened by President of the UN General Assembly in New York on 21 September 2016. This is only the fourth time in the history of the UN that a health topic has been discussed at the General Assembly (the previous topics were HIV, noncommunicable diseases, and Ebola). Heads of States and Heads of Delegations including non-governmental organizations, civil society, the private sector and academic institutions addressed the seriousness and scope of the situation and agreed on sustainable, multisectoral approaches to addressing antimicrobial resistance. A draft political declaration of the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on antimicrobial resistance was prepared, in which the overall situation and awareness of the importance of the issue was acknowledged. Also, keys to tackling AMR were recognized, one of which is applying a One Health framework with an integrated multisectoral action for addressing the problem.

The World Antibiotic Awareness Week in November 2016 had the aim of increasing awareness about global antibiotic resistance and encouraging best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid its further emergence and spread. In Viet Nam, a major campaign has been organized, with many highlighted activities such as the “National information-sharing workshop on antibiotic use, management, and the potential risk of antibiotic resistance” hosted by the Sharing Animal Health Research Information in Viet Nam (SHARE) initiative at the National Institute for Veterinary Research (NIVR); a Workshop on “Viet Nam’s Action Plan for Antimicrobial Usage (AMU) and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) reduction in the Livestock Sector” co-organized by FAO ECTAD and the Department of Livestock Production (DLP) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD); collection of one million pledges for the responsible use antibiotics; and a number of public presentations in Ha Noi.

AMR is a complex issue with potential impact on the whole society, and is affected by many integrated factors. Joint efforts are the key to limiting the emergence and spread of AMR. Nowadays, aside from technical support for each country to develop action plan on AMR, the World Health Organization (WHO) also closely collaborates with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OiE) with the aim of fostering the application of One Health to identify best practices in responding to AMR, including the optimal use of antibiotics in the animal health and public health sectors. Viet Nam is recognized as the first country in WHO’s Western Pacific region to adopt a National Action Plan on AMR in 2013./.