Veterinary Drug Shops as Main Sources of Supply and Advice on Antimicrobials for Animal Use in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam.
Phu DH., Giao VTQ., Truong DB., Cuong NV., Kiet BT., Hien VB., Thwaites G., Rushton J., Carrique-Mas J.
In the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, small-scale poultry farmers use large amounts of antimicrobials to raise their flocks, and veterinary drug shops owners and their staff are a key source of advice to farmers on antimicrobial use (AMU). We described the network of veterinary drug shops (n = 93) in two districts within Dong Thap province (Mekong Delta). We also interviewed a randomly selected sample of chicken farmers (n = 96) and described their linkages with veterinary drug shops. Antimicrobials represented 15.0% [inter quartile range (IQR) 6.0-25.0] of the shops' income. Fifty-seven percent shop owners had been/were affiliated to the veterinary authority, 57% provided diagnostic services. The median number of drug shops supplying antimicrobials to each farm during one production cycle was 2 [IQR 1-2]. Visited shops were located within a median distance of 3.96 km [IQR 1.98-5.85] to farms. Drug shops owned by persons affiliated to the veterinary authority that did not provide diagnostic services had a higher fraction of their income consisting of antimicrobial sales (β = 1.913; p < 0.001). These results suggest that interventions targeting veterinary drug shop owners and their staff aiming at improving their knowledge base on livestock/poultry diseases and their diagnosis may contribute to reducing overall levels of AMU in the area.