Vietnam attends 44th Int’l Committee of Military Medicine Congress
Belgium is one of both founding fathers of the ICMM and is by statutes home to the ICMM Secretariat general. This country is hosting in this year's the Centennial Anniversary Congress of the ICMM, to marks the 100th anniversary after ICMM's foundation in 1921 in the aftermath of the Great War and the 1918 Flu epidemic.
The event marks the ICMM’s 100th anniversary, the celebrations of which were postponed last year because of COVID-19 (Photo: VNA).
This event provides Vietnam with an opportunity to share its experience in the field, said the delegation leader Colonel Nguyen Van Giang, Deputy Director of the Ministry of National Defence’s Department of Military Medicine.
It is focusing its discussions on the global pressing issues, such as fighting epidemics, particularly COVID-19; future trends in surgery; battlefield emergency care; infection control; nursing; and shock resuscitation, he said.
One of the presentations sparking interest at this year’s event came from Belgium’s Queen Astrid Military Hospital. It introduced the “phage therapy” which uses bacteriophages to treat bacterial infections. It is expected to be an alternative to antibiotics when bacteria develop resistance.
|Colonel Nguyen Van Giang, Deputy Director of the Military Medical Department (first, right) and members of the Vietnamese delegation attended the conference (Photo: VNA).|
The new method can help combat the rise of antibiotic resistance which is now viewed as a major global public health issue, said General Pierre Neirinckx, Deputy Secretary General of the ICMM.
At the conference, Queen Astrid Military Hospital of Belgium introduced "phage therapy" - which is one of the hospital's professional strengths. Phage therapy using phages, also known as bacteria-killing viruses, is one of the new ways to control disease-causing bacteria.
Neirinckx stressed that nearly 20 years ago, after knowing such viruses exist, scientists tried to find out if it helped in the fight against antibiotic resistance. This was an important global public health issue at the time. The solutions needed not to replace antibiotics, but to complement the actions of antibiotics.
He mentioned that the Brussels military hospital had been doing research for 20 years and reached a stage where they can soon apply these phages in patients.
|The Vietnamese delegation learned about the experience of military medical first aid and resuscitation at ICMM 44 (Photo: VNA).|
This experience was also concluded in 2020, when the military hospital in collaboration with the Eliava Institute in Tbilisi (Georgia) injected phages into a patient who was a victim of attacks in Brussels in 2016. After undergoing surgery, the patient's wound became infected despite antibiotics, and doctors succeeded in phage therapy in defeating the multi-resistant bacteria Klebsiellaneumoniea in a matter of weeks.
More information about the International Committee of Military Medicine (ICMM)
In 1920, after World War, Captain William S. Bainbridge, Md (US Navy) and Major General Jules Voncken, MD, Belgium suggested, at the 28th session of the US Military Officers Association (AMSUS), the creation of an international organization of the Armed Forces Medical Services.
Founded in Brussels in 1921, the ICMM now has 119 military medical units from different countries and territories worldwide.
The founding countries were: Belgium, Brazil, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States of America.
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