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Asthma: NGO Enlightens, Trains Health Professionals to Mitigate Disease Burden

As the world celebrates the World Asthma Day – 2018, the Asthma & Chest Care Foundation (ACCF) is organising a series of events to mark the day in Nigeria. Asthma constitutes a significant health & economic burden globally, afflicting 358 million people and responsible for over 400,000 deaths yearly. Statistics show that an estimated 15 million people are suffering from asthma in Nigeria. Many of them are vastly underdiagnosed and poorly treated due to inadequate knowledge by health professionals on current therapeutic approach to asthma. Asthma death is also on the increase and one way of reducing the burden of the disease is by training the health professionals on modern approach to asthma management.

Asthma: NGO Enlightens, Trains Health Professionals to Mitigate Disease BurdenBased on the foregoing, the foundation led by the Convener/ Coordinator of its programme – Prof. G. E. Erhabor, a leading Consultant Chest Physician and a Professor of Medicine, is putting together a series of activities to mark the World Asthma Day
celebration. For several years, the Asthma and Chest Care Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, has been in the forefront of patients’ care and health professional’s education, with international recognition. This year’s events will include: Saturday, April
28th, 2018: Asthma Awareness Walk; Monday, April 30th, 2018: Public Education/Interview on TV Channels; Tuesday, May 1st, 2018 – Other activities will include: Public Education on TV Channels to propagate messages on the fight against asthma.

Major highlights of the programme will consist of: Free distribution of Asthma education materials and leaflets to hospitals, clinics and public places all over the country to educate on asthma. Others are: free Check-Ups for asthma and free distribution of
medications and asthma devices to the public, as well as Asthma Education in schools across the nation.

Why the focus on Asthma?

Asthma affects over 300 million people every year. This is estimated to rise to 400 million in 2025, experts say. It is estimated that a quarter of a million people die from asthma every year. In Nigeria, it is estimated that about 15 million people may have asthma or asthma-like symptoms. Morbidity and mortality from this disease is on the increase because asthma is frequently undiagnosed and poorly managed by physicians. The management has undergone changes over the years. However, physicians and other health practitioners continue to manage asthma in the traditional way.

Based on this, the Asthma and Chest Care Foundation has mapped out activities for the World Asthma Day – on modern therapeutic approach to management of Asthma to help health care practitioners reduce morbidity and mortality of the disease. Topics to be
covered are: ‘Recognising and managing Asthma’; ‘Inhalational devices and nebulisation’; Why Asthma?’; ‘Pulmonary function testing in the management of Asthma’; ‘Childhood Asthma’; Modern therapeutic approach to Asthma management’; ‘The role of Pharmacists and Nurses in Asthma management’, amongst others.

Participants expected for the course programme which promises to be mostly interactive are: General Medical Practitioners, Physicians, Respiratory Nurses, Pharmacists, Physiotherapists, Accident and Emergency Doctors, Postgraduate Medical Doctors, Allied Professionals, and just anyone who is interested in Asthma Management Practical Sessions. There will also be practical sessions and hands-on teaching experience on the use of asthma devices. Facilitator for the programme is made up of a team of chest physicians and health care practitioners who are experts in the management of asthma.

 

Sammy Adaba

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