Management of asthma requires the commitment of all stakeholders

The Amaka Chiwuike-Uba Foundation (ACUF) has called on the governments, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Development Partners as well as other Stakeholders to support asthma management in Nigeria.

Making the call during the World Asthma Day celebration in Enugu, the Executive Director of the Foundation, Chiwuike Ubamade also noted that “given the asthma
prevalence, morbidity and mortality rate in Nigeria, all hands need to be on desk, to, first tackle environmental factors that trigger asthma and also provide the necessary support in terms of infrastructure, human resources capacity and other tools required for asthma management.

He commended the Foundation for the steps taken in the alleviation of conditions for persons living with asthma in Nigeria.

According to him, ACUF which is a not-for-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental and charitable organization was established in 2016 in memory of his late wife, Mrs. Amaka Chiwuike-Uba and had been geared to improving the quality of life of people; especially, those with asthma and other respiratory diseases.

“The ACUF, which was founded with the vision of a society with better breathing, better living, and a happier, united and prosperous people, carries out its objectives through facilitation of evidence-based socio-economic research, policy dialogues/advocacy, training and education and networking.

“In order to effectively and strategically carryout the programmes, projects and activities of the Foundation, the ACUF established three Centres of Excellence: the Center for Asthma, Allergy and Respiratory Conditions (CAARC); the Centre for Innovation, Youth, Rural and Sustainable Development (CIYRSD), and the Centre for Leadership and Global Education (CeLGE).

“In a review of the ACUF’s achievements for the year 2017, the foundation’s first conference which led to the production of the first-ever documentary on Asthma in Nigeria, titled “Together, we shall BEAT ASTHMA’. He noted that the annual asthma conference and series of research had impacted significantly on the country in many ways,” Uba recalled.

According to him, the development had led to an increased awareness on asthma prevalence, causes and management, with over 90 percent impact on the knowledge of asthma among the conference participants.

Uba insisted that the competency to manage asthma was impacted positively by over 90 percent among the Conference participants as a result of the information shared during the conference.

“Aside the research and annual asthma conference programme, the foundation recorded milestones in other programmes, with considerable progress in other areas including education and training, advocacy, networking and partnerships. He added
that the foundation developed, published and disseminated fact-sheets, asthma information fliers and newsletters.

“Despite the achievements, several challenges in obtaining funds to carry out other proposed programmes, projects and activities of the Foundation. He lamented the myriad of logistics and coordination problems which diminished research, intellectual and programmatic outputs.

“The situation underscores the need for institutional strengthening, development of infrastructure, enhanced human resources and better, more predictable funding to ensure more robust, sustained and longer-term organizational development and
programming,” he further said.

Uba added that the prospects for 2018 looked very positive, saying that “was a large scope for greater programming opportunities, interventions and research in the increasing demand for research and analytical work as bases for public policy, and as evidence tool for advocacy by private sector and civil society groups.”

He disclosed the expected milestones for the year 2018 include the establishment of “Asthma Crisis Management Centres in at least three States in each of the geo-political zones; the continuation of the Physicians Asthma Management Education (PAME); Asthma and Respiratory Management Workshop for Practice Nurses; Schools’ Education and Training Workshops on Asthma Management; Radio and TV Programmes on Asthma; Development, Printing and Distribution of Asthma Management Toolkit and
Handbook; Development, Printing and Distribution of Asthma Basics for Children; Development, Printing and Distribution of Educational Resources and Forms (manuals, action plans, reference cards, factsheets, etc) on asthma; The Annual Asthma Conference with the theme: Better Breathing, Better Living: The Role of Governance and the Environment on Asthma Management and bringing Youth to Services and Youth
Entrepreneurship Projects.”

Uba called for partnership to develop more strategic sources of funding in order to ensure sustainable long-term programming and improve the quality of life of people.

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