In Vietnam, veterinary drug shops play a key role as gatekeepers of antimicrobials intended for animal use. The vast majority of antimicrobials used in Vietnamese small and medium-scale farms are either directly or indirectly purchased in licensed veterinary drug shops. It is estimated that there are ~12,000 licensed veterinary drug shops registered across the country. Engaging this stakeholder group is therefore essential to minimize the unnecessary prescription of antimicrobials intended for livestock. It is also foreseeable that antimicrobial sales at retail can be a valid option to be implemented under the umbrella of the National Action Plan for Antimicrobial Resistance.
Accurate assessment of antimicrobial sales requires extracting detailed information from the products concerning the antimicrobial active ingredient included, the target species and the mode of administration. The VACAL project ‘Development and Evaluation of an Antimicrobial Use Calculator for terrestrial Food Animals to be deployed in Veterinary drug shops in Vietnam’ under the project ‘Risk Mitigation and Management of Human Health Threats along Animal Value Chains – OSRO/VIE/402/USA’ is a pilot study funded by USAID. The main partners are the Department of Agriculture (Ministry of Agriculture, Vietnam), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), , Nong Lam University, Ho Chi Minh city (NLU) and Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU). The project aims to implement a system of monitoring antimicrobial sales at retail point. Through the project we will develop and test a tablet-based, user-friendly App to capture antimicrobial sales intended for Vietnamese terrestrial livestock (including poultry) considering populations of different sizes and ages (weights) as well as different administration route (water, feed, injection). This tool will be tested on a random selection of antimicrobial providers (veterinary drug shops) in Bac Giang (north) and Dong Thap (south) provinces. A random selection of 30 veterinary drug shops will be performed in each province, and owners of these veterinary drug shops will be asked to enter the information on sales of antimicrobial using the App installed in a tablet for one week. The amounts entered will be automatically converted into commonly used metrics of antimicrobial use (mg/kg live animal – and Defined Daily Dose (per kilogram of live animal) – ADDkg). The AMU calculator will store information on the antimicrobial contents of a total of ~12,000 products currently licensed for animal use in Vietnam (currently curated by DAH). Results on AMU in the selected provinces will be related to the animal population statistics in the study provinces.