GSK JOINS HANDS WITH MEDICAL ASSOCIATIONS TO HOLD A MULTIDIMENSIONAL MEDICAL FORUM ON HEALTHCARE: FROM PREVENTION TO TREATMENT
The forum takes place on June 8-9, 2019 in Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and is webcasting to more than 20 cities and provinces nationwide. This is a great opportunity for leading experts in the fields of Respiratory, Pediatrics, Microbiology Clinical Pharmacology, ENT, and Preventive Medicine to join the multidimension medical forum to discuss the strategy of “Comprehensive healthcare of respiratory diseases from prevention to treatment”. The forum is co-organized by the Vietnam Respiratory Society, Vietnam Pediatrics Association, Vietnam Association of Preventive Medicine, HCMC Pasteur Institute, HCMC Respiratory Association, HCMC ENT Association, and the representative office of GSK in Vietnam. GSK is one of the world’s leading science-based healthcare and pharmaceutical companies. This event also marks GSK’s 25th year in a journey to accompany the development of Vietnam’s healthcare sector. In this time, the company has been unwavering in its efforts to offer best-in-class prevention and treatment solutions to healthcare professionals in the three categories of Medicines, Vaccines and Consumer healthcare products. Ultimately, the aim is to bring a better life to Vietnamese people, helping them to do more, feel better and live longer.
Speaking at the forum, Prof Tran Dac Phu, Head of Preventive Medicine Department, MOH, asserted: “In the Industry 4.0 era, the healthcare sector has made transformative steps, adapting to new medical trends in order to meet higher public expectations of healthcare quality. We have obtained remarkable progress in raising people’s early healthcare awareness; however, a majority of Vietnamese people still prefer self-diagnosis and self-treatment using Google - they’d rather buy medicines without prescriptions at drugstores and not comply with doctors’ treatment presciptions. To curb this problem, a tighter, more harmonious collaboration between treatment and prevention is crucial to deliver better public health care and health protection.”
The multidimensional medical forum is led by high-profile experts in various specialities, with speakers from HCMC including Dr. Truong Thi Xuan Lieu, Chairman of General Medical Association in HCMC; Dr. Bach Van Cam, Advisor, President of Resuscitation Association Ho Chi Minh City; Main lecturer, Dr. Huynh Khac Cuong, Chairman of HCMC Association of Ear Nose Throat, Prof Le Thi Tuyet Lan, Chairman of the HCMC Association of Asthma - Allergy - Clinical Immunology; Prof Nguyen Thi Ngoc Dung, Vice Chairman of Vietnam Medical Association; Prof. Pham Hung Van, President of Clinical Microbiology Association HCMC; Prof Tran Van Ngoc, Chairman of HCM Respiratory Association and Prof Cao Huu Nghia, Head of LAM, Pasteur Institude in HCM. In Ha Noi, there will be Prof Dang Duc Anh, Director of NIHE and chairman of Vietnam Association of Preventive Medicine; Prof Ngo Quy Chau, Chairman of Hanoi Respiratory Association; Prof Khu Thi Khanh Dung, Vice Chairman of National Perdiatric Association and Prof Nguyen Hoang Anh, Director of National DI & ADR. On this occasion, health workers specializing in preventive medicine and treatment in the country have a chance to join together in a professional forum to discuss the comprehensive management of respiratory diseases, including community respiratory virus infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and the burden of pneumococcal disease in children.
At the forum, experts shared experiences and discussed the importance of combining prevention and treatment in the comprehensive management of respiratory diseases in adults and children amidst the complexity of antibiotic resistance, the reoccurence of several epidemics in children, and the increasing rate of chronic diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Experts focused on disccussing and analyzing the following topics:
- Challenges in managing the prevention and treatment of community-acquired respiratory tract infections
- Treatment of community-acquired respiratory tract infections based on microbiology and clinical pharmacology as well as calling for proper use of antibiotics to prevent antimicrobial resistance
- The evidence-based treatment method for ear, nose and throat (ENT) infections in the community to minimize antibiotic resistance
- Management and control of chronic diseases like asthma and COPD
- The burden of diseases among children and guidelines for prevention and treatment of respiratory diseases in children
- The importance of immunization program in preventing respiratory infections
At the event, experts pointed out the fact that alarming environmental pollution, unhealthy diet and lifestyle and a lack of physical exercise are responsible for Vietnamese people’s susceptibility to diseases, especially respiratory diseases. Vietnamese people tend to only visit doctors when their situation gets worse and this makes treatment more difficult. Moreover, most patients fail to comply with their doctors’ instructions, regularly skipping doses when feeling the symptoms are alleviated without knowing that this could lead to antibiotic resistance or result in acute exacerbations afterwards. In children, the burden of disease is substantial at age 0-2. At this age, most children are hospitalized for acute respiratory diseases. Their immature immune systems are vulnerable to bacterial attacks, which results in serious complications and even mortality.
To cope with these challenges, experts suggest three prioritized solutions:
1/ A consensus among health workers across medical fields on proper prescription and utilization of antibiotics based on microbiology- clinical- clinical pharmacology to minimize antibiotic resistance
2/ Guiding and educating patients on the importance of adherance to antibiotic treatment for community-acquired respiratory tract diseases; compliance with preventive treatment for chronic diseases like asthma and COPD to control symptoms and avoid acute exacerbations that require hospitalization.
3/ Encouraging early immunization for vaccine-preventable diseases to protect children from common and dangerous respiratory diseases like whooping cough, pneumococcal pneumonia, and other infectious diseases.
Aside from discussing the topic of “Comprehensive healthcare of respiratory diseases from prevention to treatment”, experts also spoke highly of the significant transformation of Vietnam’s healthcare sector in recent years. The country has made breakthrough steps in accelerating information technology application in health care activities, training human resources, improving the quality of health exams and treatment, and upgrading medical infrastructures and facilities to better serve patients nationwide. The multidimensional forum is also a celebration of GSK’s 25 years accompanying Vietnam’s healthcare sector, providing them with more effective and diverse options for the prevention and treatment of diseases.
Gareth Ward, British Ambassador to Vietnam, congratulated GSK Vietnam on this special event and reaffirmed UK’s long-term commitment to facilitating the development of Vietnam’s health care sector, and ensuring people have improved access to quality vaccines and pharmaceuticals.
“We are proud to be part of the development of Vietnam’s healthcare sector over the past 25 years. As a science-led global healthcare company that researches and develops pharmaceauticals and vaccines, GSK puts patients at the centre of everything we do. We understand that patients count on health professionals to use the most appropriate and advanced medicines in treatment so that their health can be improved and their life gets better. Working closely with our strategic partners, we exert our utmost efforts to provide optimized solutions for exsisting medical challenges, such as reducing antimicrobial resistance, expanding immunization coverage, managing respiratory diseases, and enabling every one to access fundamental health care. In the future, we hope that no children would die from dangerous preventable infections, no patients would have to struggle to breathe, and antibiotics will still be conserved as a priceless asset that helps us defeat bacterial infections,“ said Dan Millard, Chief Representative, GSK Vietnam.
GSK – one of the world’s leading science-led healthcare and pharmaceutical companies – is committed to improving human health, helping people do more, feel better, live longer. For more information, visit www.vn.gsk.com.
Antibiotic resistance causes 19 deaths every minute (1) and could lead to 10 million deaths each year by 2050 (2). Antibiotic resistance has reached alarming levels in every country globally. It is now more difficult to treat common infectious diseases like pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and septicemia as most antibiotics have become less effective. Even “last resort” antibiotics are losing their power. According to a WHO’s survey in Vietnam in 2015, 74% of respondents agreed that “Antibiotic resistance remains one of the major challenges faced by the world” (3). Everyone should take the responsibility of raising awareness and taking actions to combat antibiotic resistance. Compliance to treatment regimens and proactive prevention with vaccination will help reduce antibiotic resistance.
Asthma remains a significant challenge for both health workers and patients as it is hard to control due to a number of reasons, including misunderstanding of the condition and medicines, poor adherence to treatment, improper use of inhalers, and lack of appropriate consultancy, among others. Therefore, how to fix these problems to obtain comprehensive asthma management has been top priority of clinicians in asthma treatment. Currently, there is no therapy for asthma that fits all patients. The treatment needs to be individualized for each patient to achieve the best outcome of asthma management. Patients should also be instructed to comply with preventive treatment to effectively manage symptoms and avoid acute exacerbations that require hospitalization.
Pneumonia killed nearly one million children under five worldwide in 2015 (4). Particularly, pneumococcal bacteria (Streptococcus pneumoniae) is the most common cause of pneumonia in children. In Vietnam, about 70% of healthy children carry pneumococcal bacteria in the oropharynx, and most acute respiratory infections are caused by pneumococcus (5). The mortality rate of pneumococcal pneumonia is 50% in young children and elder people (6). Early symptoms include fever, difficulty breathing, heart palpitations and severe coughing which can be confused with other illnesses like flu or malaria. Timely treatment of pneumonia with appropriate antibiotic therapy can save children’s lives. However, pneumococcal bacteria are now resistant to many common antibiotics and have even developed multiple drug resistance strains. This makes treatment more difficult, prolong treatment duration and increase cost burden. Vaccination is one of the most effective and simple preventive measures against pneumococcal infections.
(1, 2) Report of Lord Jim O’Neill – 5/2016
(4) http://who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs331/en/ Updated September 2016