Health experts in Thailand have urged people to cut their use of antibiotics amid an alarming rise in drug resistant infections. Antibiotic resistance is consequently considered a major public health problem in Thailand.
Dr Luechai Sringernyuang, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at Mahidol University says Thailand has approximately 80,000 AMR [antimicrobial resistance] cases a year. Which lead to longer hospital stays, a higher chance of death he said .
Dr Luechai Sringernyuang was speaking at the “One Health Drivers of Antibacterial Resistance in Thailand” (OH-DART)conference.
OH-DART is also a three-way research project spanning Mahidol University’s Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital; Chulabhorn Research Institute and the University of Bristol (UK); with funding provided by the UK’s National Institute for Health Research.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Prapat Pothasuthon said widespread and incorrect use” of antibiotics in aquaculture and agriculture is severely impacting health. Especially in the environment he said .
In 2016, the government also endorsed the first five-year National Strategic Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance in Thailand from 2017 to 2021.
The plan targets a 50% reduction in ABR morbidity; 20% and 30% reductions in antimicrobial use in human and animal health; and also a 20% increase in public knowledge about AMR.
Hospitals told to prescribe less Antibiotics
According to the Bangkok Post in 2019, the ministry decreased antibiotic prescriptions for upper respiratory tract infections, acute diarrhea, open wounds and normal labor, to decrease drug resistant risks.
The ministry instructed the hospitals to prescribe medications appropriately to patients suffering from; non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes; as well as high-risk patients such as senior people, pregnant women; chronic kidney patients and patients who require consistent and continuous medicine.
The ministry also instructed 125 large hospitals nationwide to develop an integrated antibiotic resistance management system. With the goal to decrease antibiotic prescription by 20% and antimicrobial resistance illnesses by 50%.