|Delegates launch a communication campaign on improving community awareness in asthma management in Hà Nội on Saturday. — Photo MSA|
HÀ NỘI — The health ministry’s Medical Service Administration in collaboration with AstraZeneca Vietnam launched a communication campaign on improving community awareness of asthma management in Hà Nội on Saturday.
The campaign, entitled “Do you control asthma or does asthma control you”, aims to help patients quickly assess their levels of SABA (short-acting beta2 agonist) reliance with six questions on the website https://vilaphoikhoe.kcb.vn and Facebook fanpage https://www.facebook.com/vilaphoikhoe.
These platforms will be updated with the latest treatment guidelines for patients to actively control their conditions, and encourage active consultations with health professionals about how to best control asthma.
MSA director Lương Ngọc Khuê said that ensuring quality of asthma care was one of the Government’s healthcare priorities. In 2020, the Ministry of Health issued "National Guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of Asthma for adults and children aged 12 years and above" which alerts the frequent or excessive use of reliever medication can pose to the risk of hospitalisation and fatality.
“Asthma treatment in Việt Nam was gradually following this guideline. However, the progress of improving asthma care will require health managers, healthcare professionals and the whole community. Through communication campaigns on the Healthy Lung website and fanpage, we call for the participation of all parties in the management and control of asthma," said Khuê.
“In my observations, many patients feel ‘attached’ to their SABA inhaler, mistakenly believing this to be the best way to control their symptoms. They are often unaware that using their SABA inhaler just three or more times a week is a sign of poor asthma control and increases their risk of an asthma attack. We hope asthma patients will realise that SABA over-reliance will increase the risk of exacerbation and terrible consequences that are preventable," said the HCM City Association of Asthma, Allergy & Clinical Immunology president Lê Thị Tuyết Lan.
“AstraZeneca aims to play a leading role in reducing the prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases, especially respiratory diseases by working together with healthcare partners. We are committed to enhancing these partnerships to improve awareness and quality of asthma care, to eliminate preventable asthma attacks and ultimately improve patients’ lives,” said Nitin Kapoor, Chairman cum General Director, AstraZeneca Vietnam.
A survey of the SABA use in Asthma programme pharmacy programme’s in 14 provinces and cities in Việt Nam showed that up to 68 per cent of asthma patients bought three or more reliever medications in 2020. According to GINA 2019, the use of three reliever pills a year will double the risk of hospitalisation. Overuse of SABA has been associated with adverse outcomes such as increased airway overreaction, decreased bronchodilator response, which may lead to an increased risk of emergency admission and possibly an increased fatality risk.
The campaign is part of the Healthy Lung programme, a partnership between AstraZeneca, national governments and specialised associations in nine Asian countries including Việt Nam to raise the profile of respiratory diseases and build the capability of healthcare systems in these countries to manage these diseases. — VNS