The abovementioned conference was held at the Khanh Hoa Convention Centre (the main auditorium resembles concert theatre) in Nha Trang, Vietnam. The primary organisers were the National Hospital for Infectious Diseases (NHTD), Vietnam Society of Infectious Diseases (VSID), Vietnam Clinical of HIV/AIDS Society (VCHAS), Vietnam Society of Parasitology (VSP), Oxford Clinical Research Unit Vietnam (OUCRU), ASEAN Society of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology (ASTMP).

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Quite a large crowd had gathered before the official opening.

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A very well attended regional conference, numbering a few hundred participants, mostly from Vietnam.

There were 5 plenary lectures after the opening addresses on issues pertinent to Vietnam and the region, including on outbreak surveillance, distribution of infectious diseases in Vietnam, human fascioliasis, antimicrobial resistance, and hepatitis.

 

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Dr Anthony Mount from (US) CDC Vietnam speaking on surveillance.

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Country progress on launching National Action Plans on AMR. Singapore is on the list!

The plenaries were followed over the next couple of days with themed sessions. I attended one of Plasmodium knowlesi (monkey malaria – presenters were all from Malaysia), and of course, on antimicrobial resistance.

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Dr Rogier van Doorn from OUCRU speaking on the results of AMR surveillance in a Vietnam network of hospitals.

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A/Prof Direk Limmathurotsakul speaking on the “Antibiotic Footprint” – similar to the carbon footprint of individuals and countries.

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Fellow countryman Prof Paul Tambyah delivering a talk on management of multidrug-resistant Gram-negative infections.

There were a number of pharmacies around the hotel we stayed, and I ventured into a number of them to look for antibiotics. It is entirely part of the culture in most Southeast Asian countries that antibiotics can be purchased over the counter without a prescription.

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A pharmacy display stall with the usual list of available antibiotics – amoxicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanate, cefuroxime, azithromycin, levofloxacin, acyclovir, etc.

I had a bit of time after the conference and meandered down to the local wet market, which I usually enjoy visiting in every city/country.

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Nha Trang is famous for seafood, particularly squid. More types of squid on sale here than I ever saw in Singapore.
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Frogs – de-skinned.
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