Viet Nam

Strengthening national efforts in combating antimicrobial resistance in Viet Nam

Strengthening national efforts in combating antimicrobial resistance in Viet Nam

The discovery of antibiotics from the beginning of the 1940s was a great turning point in the medical history of humankind. Antibiotics have saved millions of people from dying of infections. However, natural selection process of bacteria as well as the inappropriate use of antibiotics in the human health sector and the agriculture sector are among the causes of increased antibiotic resistance of pathogenic bacteria. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has great impact on the economy and general development of the society, not only in Viet Nam but also all over the world, especially in this era of globalization.

According to a recent report, by 2050, an estimated 10 million people will die every year due to AMR unless a global response to the problem is mounted[1]. Recognizing the importance of the issue, in order to cope with accelerating antimicrobial resistance, on 21 June 2013, Minister of Health issued Decision No. 2174 /QD-BYT on the approval of the National Action Plan (NAP) on antimicrobial resistance for the period 2013-2020. Subsequently, on 24 June 2015, the Ministry of Health (MOH) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), international organizations and development partners in Viet Nam signed an Aide Memoire to combat antimicrobial resistance.

After four years of the National Action Plan and two years of the Aide Memoire implementation, on 21 September 2017, in Ha Noi, MOH in collaboration with MARD, MOIT and MONRE organized a workshop to review the implementation of phase 1 of the NAP on Antimicrobial Resistance. Dr Kidong Park, World Health Organization Representative in Viet Nam, expressed high appreciation for Viet Nam's efforts and contribution to the battle against AMR worldwide. Viet Nam is one of the first six countries in the Asia Pacific region to develop and implement a National Action Plan on AMR.

At present, the four ministries (MOH, MARD, MOIT and MONRE) together with development partners are reviewing, supplementing and finalizing the National Action Plan on AMR from now to 2020 to be compatible with the practical situation and guiding documents of the Prime Minister. At the same time, this approach also needs to be reflected in the annual programs and plans of each Ministry and Department at central and local levels.

The National Hospital of Tropical Diseases and the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health have demonstrated the great efforts from the human health sector to combat AMR, especially with the application of information technology in the control of antibiotics prescription and purchase, despite limited financial and human resources. With the attention and direction of the Government, the active involvement of relevant ministries and organizations, as well as active participation of the community, the AMR situation in Viet Nam is expected to record positive results in the upcoming time and to achieve the targets of the National Action Plan.


Highlighted activities in the fight against AMR in Viet Nam

·        Viet Nam has strongly responded to the World Health Organization's call warning of "No action today, no remedy tomorrow" in 2011 and is one of the first six countries in the Asia Pacific region to develop a National Action Plan on Antibiotic Resistance, 2013-2020.

·        Establishment of a National Steering Committee on AMR for the period 2013-2020 (Decision No. 879/QD-BYT dated 13/3/2014 and Decision No. 5888/QD-BYT dated 10/10/2016).

·        Establishment of nine Sub-Committees on AMR for the period 2013-2020 (Decision No. 2888/QD-BYT dated 05/8/2014).

·        Establishment and regulation of the roles and duties of the surveillance network for microbial-resistant bacteria in medical facilities (Decision No. 6211/QD-BYT dated 17/10/2016).

·        Establishment of the National AMR Surveillance Unit under the Department of Medical Services Administration (Decision No. 3391/QD-BYT dated 14 August 2015).

·        Development and issuance of legal documents and training materials to improve awareness of health officials in microbiology and management of antibiotic use.

·        Promoting communication activities for raising awareness of the community and health officials about antibiotics and AMR; Launching and signing the commitment on responsible use of antibiotics and organizing the annual AMR week every November.

·        Endorsement of the Viet Nam One Health Strategic Plan for Zoonotic Diseases, 2016 – 2020, in which AMR is one of the focus areas.

Developing and promulgating the National Action Plan for the reduction of antimicrobial use and management of antibiotic use and control of antibiotic resistance in livestock production and aquaculture (2017 – 2020)(Decision No. 2625/QD-BNN-TY dated21/6/2017).

Will 10 Million People Die a Year due to Antimicrobial Resistance by 2050?;Marlieke E. A. de KrakerAndrew J. Stewardson, and Stephan Harbarth