Pharmaceutical giant, AstraZeneca, has inaugurated the first PUMUA nebulisation stations at the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) in the Northern Region to provide access and care for patients with asthma.
Equipped with four Comp AIR Pro NE-C900 Compressor Nebulisers, the nebulisation stations are within the children’s ward of the TTH.
AstraZeneca launched the Africa PUMUA Initiative to highlight its commitment to improve the health outcomes of patients in Africa by providing infrastructure, increasing awareness of the symptoms and risks of asthma, and building the capacity of all role players across the patient journey.
In Ghana, the initiative was designed in consultation and collaboration with the Ghana Health Services (GHS), the Ghana Thoracic Society (GTS), the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSG), local health providers and respiratory health experts to strengthen the health system and centres, with the overarching ambition to improve paediatric and adult asthma management across both the public and private sectors.
The AstraZeneca Country President for the African Cluster, Ms Barbara Nel, said “by working together with the GHS, the PSG and other partners to boost medical knowledge and expertise, and build an infrastructure for asthma patients, we believe we will be able to redefine asthma care in Ghana”.
She explained that the Africa PUMUA Initiative sought to address the barriers currently preventing access to care for patients with asthma.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says over 80 per cent of asthma-related deaths occur in low-income and lower middle-income countries, and Ms Nel indicated that “this figure highlights the importance and urgency of ensuring that those at risk of or who are living with asthma have timely access to healthcare services such as appropriate diagnosis, a direct link to care and reliable access to quality treatments to achieve control".
She said the partnership with the TTH would provide training opportunities for staff of the hospital to boost medical knowledge and expertise to enable them to provide quality care for asthma patients.
The Director of Nursing at the TTH, Ms Eveyln Daanikuu, said “the TTH is at a strategic location in this part of Ghana, and it serves people even in Burkina Faso and Togo, so having this facility here means that lots of people are going to benefit from it”.
She indicated that “we are aware that non-communicable diseases are increasing these days and asthma is one, especially in children”.
She revealed that out-patient department consultation for patients in need of nebulisation would increase in the coming days since the facility could now provide excellent care to patients.
She said the AstraZeneca intervention would further improve and promote the hospital as a centre of excellence and gave the assurance that the staff were up to the task and would work diligently to save lives.
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas — oncology, cardiovascular, renal and metabolism, and respiratory and immunology.
The Africa PUMUA Initiative is AstraZeneca's innovative programme committed to redefining asthma care in Africa through partnership with governments and healthcare professionals societies.
The Africa PUMUA Initiative is to improve paediatric and adult asthma management across public and private sectors with a focus on local health system strengthening, health worker capacity building, awareness and education, and equitable access to AstraZeneca’s respiratory medicines.
The initiative forms part of AstraZeneca’s commitment to deliver improved accessibility, acceptability, affordability and availability of quality care in Africa.