Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien signs at the meeting as a commitment to responsible antibiotics use. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Health (MoH) encourages individuals to use antibiotics responsibly by taking the medicine only with doctors’ prescriptions.

It was heard at a meeting held by the MoH and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Hanoi on November 21 in response to the Antibiotics Awareness Week in Vietnam from November 16-22.

The WHO has adopted the slogan “No action today, no cure tomorrow” to call on an international effort to fight against antimicrobial resistance.

In her opening remarks, Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said antimicrobial resistance is a global issue today, particularly in developing countries, including Vietnam. It causes hundreds of thousands of deaths and billions of US dollars in economic loss every year, Tien noted.

The WHO warned that antimicrobial resistance is a serious threat to the capacity of healthcare system in treating common infectious diseases in the future, she added.

The minister asked the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development; Environment and Natural Resources; Industry and Trade, Education and Training; and Information and Communication to coordinate more closely with the MoH in the antibiotics awareness campaign.

She proposed the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to design policies for the reduction or the ban on antibiotics use in breeding while the provincial departments of health should actively carry out the national action plan on combating antimicrobial resistance between 2013 and 2020 at their localities.

Healthcare professionals must take full accountability and responsibility in prescribing and dispensing antibiotics while farmers need to pay heed to using antibiotics properly in agricultural production, she said.-VNA