x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Dubai enlists nurses in battle with asthma

Selected nurses in Dubai will receive specialised training in the prevention and treatment of asthma as part of the emirate's drive to make the UAE a centre of excellence in fighting the respiratory disease.

Selected nurses in Dubai will receive specialised training in the prevention and treatment of asthma as part of the emirate's drive to make the UAE a centre of excellence in fighting the respiratory disease. The UAE has one of the highest rates of asthma in the world, and the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) hopes to station specialist nurses in clinics across the emirate, officials said yesterday.

According to research by the Global Initiative for Asthma, 15 per cent of the population is affected by the condition, which is more than twice the rate found in Europe. "Poor asthma management is a major cost to the economy and its health care system, not to mention a danger to life and lifestyle," said Dr Bassam Mahboub, the head of the pulmonology department at the DHA. "Therefore we believe that educating and training our primary health care practitioners, like our nurses, will lead to substantial improvement in asthma management."

Dr Mahboub is project leader of the Asthma Management Partnership Initiative, which was set up to improve asthma care in the UAE. Nurses will be certificated through the Respiratory Education UK programme offered by Edge Hill University of England. Once their training is completed, the nurses will be stationed in clinics across the emirate where they can support family doctors in their treatment of asthmatic patients.

Patients will be offered help with managing the condition and how to use medication. "Introducing asthma specialist teams across the our polyclinics will most certainly help diagnose asthma at an early stage and provide effective treatment for our patients," Dr Mahboub said. The Asthma Partnership Initiative will work with the newly created Dubai Respiratory Centre of Excellence to provide guidelines to doctors regarding early intervention and case management.

A report released in October found that 31 per cent of asthma sufferers in the UAE, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon and Oman had been hospitalised at least once due to the disease. amcmeans@thenational.ae