ABU DHABI // A series of free education courses will improve pharmacists' role in treating asthma and other common non-communicable diseases, officials said.
The Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (Haad) has chosen 200 pharmacists from Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region to attend a series of seminars on asthma and dispensing medication to patients with respiratory problems.
Next month, 50 of the 200 pharmacists will receive more intensive training to better equip them to work with doctors to ensure asthma patients get the best possible treatment. "We are going to be providing free training for pharmacists in the majority of common, public health diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and so on," said Dr Mohammed Abu Elkhair, head of pharma and medicine regulation at Haad.
Pharmacists are being trained to identify patients who are not receiving the correct treatment for their asthma, so that the patient's doctor can be informed, he said.
A Haad survey of 7,500 schoolchildren in 2007 found that 19.5 per cent have asthma.
"It is a prevalent disease that can be easily exacerbated with the dusty wind storms," said a Haad spokesperson. "People with asthma are prone to changes in environmental conditions and this can negatively impact their quality of life."
Pharmacists will be trained to educate individuals and their families on ways to improve the patient's quality of life and how to manage treatment.
The asthma seminars are part of Haad's Pharmacists Professional Development in 2011 programme of comprehensive and continuing education.
Pharmacists who complete the seminar and the examinations that follow will receive certificates from the American Association of Asthma Educators.