GSK, Experts Call for Proper Management of Asthma

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L-R: Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Dr. Idris Olajide; Managing Director, GlaxoSmithKline Pharma, Mr. Cesar Marval; and Director, Health Planning, Research and Statistics, Dr. Olufemi Taiwo, at the launch of Guidelines for the Management of Asthma, held in Lagos …recently

Martins Ifijeh
Bearing in mind that asthma can be severe or fatal if not well managed, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceutical Nigeria Ltd and health experts have called on asthmatics in Nigerians to ensure proper diagnosis and management, as this could help in reducing symptoms and death.

Speaking during the official launch of the new Guidelines for the Management of Asthma in Lagos recently, the Chief Medical Director, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Professor Wale Oke, said the burden of the disease and rate of deaths can be reduced through proper information relating to management of the condition.

Stating that more emphasis was needed on the control, he said that “In the past, management and treatment of asthma was based on individual opinion, individual perception and sometimes even personal belief. Asthma was categorized according to the severity of its symptoms rather than how it could be controlled. What is desired is accurate, basic and balanced information to assist practitioners.

“In developing countries like Nigeria, the severity of asthma is grossly underestimated,” adding that it was not surprising that the shift in treatment plan remains unimplemented. “The consequence of this is the persistent increase in the mortality and morbidity among sufferers. This can be prevented,” he stated.

He explained that in Nigeria, asthmatics continue to die from misdiagnosis, lack of management guidelines, stigmatisation and poor device use, adding that the situation, informed the decision to develop the management guidelines.

Developed in collaboration with GSK Pharmaceutical Nigeria Limited, under its “Breathe Easy Project”, the guideline, first of its kind in Nigeria, is aimed at ensuring that no asthmatic dies as a result of their asthma.

The Managing Director, GSK Pharma, Mr. Cesar Marval, said the whole essence of the guideline was to ensure the asthma was very well managed and does not get to the position where it becomes fatal “For us at GSK, this initiative is at the heart of our very existence. It aligns with our mission, which is to improve the quality of human lives, to help people do more, feel better and live longer.

“Our commitment to improve asthma management and respiratory health is further demonstrated by the establishment of the GSK Breathe Easy Initiative. This initiative aims to help improve the appropriate diagnosis and management of asthma such as supporting the launch of this guideline,” Marval stated.