AstraZeneca, a global pharmaceutical company, is supporting some selected Ghanaian health facilities to improve paediatric and adult asthma care and management, Mr. Emmanuel Atiemo Mawuli, the Country Manager, has stated.
He said this was being done under the AstraZeneca Africa PUMUA Initiative, which sought to redefine asthma care in Ghana.
The Ghana Health Services (GHS), Ghana Thoracic Society (GTS), Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana and some local health providers and respiratory health experts are collaborating with the pharmaceutical company to achieve the objectives of the Initiative in the country.
Mr. Emmanuel Atiemo Mawuli, the Country Manager, AstraZeneca, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Kumasi, on the sideline of the donation of nebulizers to some health facilities, said it was imperative for those at risk of or who were living with asthma to have timely access to healthcare services.
A nebulizer is an electrically powered machine that turns liquid medication into a mist so that it can be breathed directly into the lungs through a face mask or mouthpiece.
The Africa PUMUA Initiative, therefore, is committed to improving the health outcomes of patients on the continent by providing the needed support for infrastructure, and also increasing awareness on the symptoms and risks of asthma.
Mr. Mawuli assured that AstraZeneca, through the Initiative, would help to build the capacity of all role players across the patient journey, while addressing the barriers currently preventing access to care for patients with asthma.
Facilities in the Ashanti Region provided with the nebulizer machines included the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Ghana’s second-largest health facility, Asokwa Children’s Hospital, SDA Hospital-Kwadaso, St Michael’s Hospital, Jachie Pramso, and St Peter’s Hospital, Jacobu.
The rest are the Presbyterian Hospital, Agogo, St Patrick’s Hospital, Offinso, Methodist Hospital, Ankaase, as well as the Cocoa Clinic and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Hospital, Kumasi.
Other medical facilities in the Bono and Ahafo Regions also billed to receive the nebulizer machines are the St. Theresa’s Hospital, Nkoranza, Holy Family Hospital, Techiman, and Methodist Hospital, Wenchi.
The SDA Hospital, Sunyani, Holy Family Hospital, Berekum and Presbyterian Hospital, Dormaa Ahenkro would also be receiving the machines.
Mr. Atiemo indicated that additionally, the global pharmaceutical company would officially be opening and handing over 34 PUMUA nebulization stations in selected faith-based and quasi government facilities in the Ashanti, Bono and Ahafo Regions.
In Africa, it is estimated that more than 40 million people are living with asthma and the World Health Organization (WHO) cautions that over 80 per cent of asthma-related deaths occur in low and lower-middle income countries.
The Country Manager said the scenario highlighted the importance and urgency of ensuring that those at risk of or who were living with asthma had timely access to healthcare services, such as appropriate diagnosis, a direct link to care and reliable access to quality treatments to achieve control.
Asthma is a clinical syndrome of chronic airway inflammation characterised by recurrent and reversible airway obstruction, which makes breathing difficult.
Dr. Osei Kwaku Wusu-Ansah, Director of the KNUST Health Services, receiving the nebulizer machines said the equipment would help in the treatment of asthma.
The machines had come to complement the Hospital’s effort in fighting asthma and related diseases, he noted, saying the donation was an initial step to seeing people living with asthma improved, while advancing quality and affordable health care.