Swedish university studies resistance to antibiotics in Vietnam

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The increasingly widespread resistance to antibiotics is a global threat. One of the most vulnerable countries is Vietnam, with 90 million inhabitants. In an attempt to change this development, the VINARES project was started in the autumn of 2012 led by researchers from Sweden, UK and Vietnam.

The first results of the project are now being presented in the scientific journal PLOS Medicine, with Håkan Hanberger, professor of infectious diseases at Linköping University in Sweden, as chief author.

The aim of VINARES, the Viet Nam Resistance Project, is to strengthen national evidence-based control of antibiotic use in the country. The project is being run by researchers at Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Hanoi and Linköping University, in close collaboration with 16 of the country’s larger hospitals, the Vietnamese Association for Infectious Diseases, and the Vietnamese Health Ministry.

The aim is to bridge the gap between policy and execution, which is the major problem in Vietnam and in many other low- and middle-income countries. Despite the ambitions of the political leadership, healthcare is characterised by insufficient infection control, insufficient resources for diagnosis, and inappropriate antibiotic treatment – all major factors driving the development of resistance.

The project got off the ground in September 2012 when directors, clinicians, infection control doctors, microbiologists and pharmacists from the participating hospitals met in Vietnam.

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