AstraZeneca, a global pharmaceutical company, has opened a nebulization station at the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) in the Northern Region to help improve asthma care for patients in the country.
The station is equipped with four nebulizing machines, which administer the medicine to patients, chairs and desks, and a television screen to play educational videos to patients, parents and relatives to explain more about what asthma is, and what they need to do to better manage asthma.
The opening of the nebulisation station at the TTH formed part of the Africa PUMUA Initiative, which was launched by AstraZeneca to highlight its commitment to improving the health outcomes of patients in Africa.
Barbara Nel, AstraZeneca Country President for African Cluster, who handed over the nebulisation station to the authorities of the TTH in Tamale, said the gesture formed part of AstraZeneca's commitment to working with governments, and teaching hospitals to ensure sustainable improvement in asthma care for both paediatric and adult asthma patients.
By providing support of infrastructure, increasing awareness of the symptoms and risks of asthma, and building the capacity of all role players across the patient journey, the Africa PUMUA Initiative looks at addressing the barriers currently preventing access to care for patients with asthma.
In Ghana, the initiative was designed in consultation and collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Ghana Thoracic Society, Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, 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.
Nel said "by working together with the GHS, Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana and other health societies and 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. Together we can achieve results that go beyond what any individual stakeholder can achieve."
She added that "We are focusing on both paediatric and adult asthma. We are focusing both on private hospitals but importantly on public hospitals because we know that is where the biggest need is in terms of improving asthma care."
Madam Evelyn Danikuu, Director of Nursing Services at TTH expressed gratitude to AstraZeneca for selecting TTH to be part of the Africa PUMUA Initiative, saying it would strengthen its capacity for improved asthma management.
The TTH has some nebulising machines, but not enough to cater for the high number of patients requiring such services, especially during the dry season, hence the significance of the new nebulising station.
Madam Danikuu said many people would benefit from the initiative at the TTH because it was strategically located serving the northern part of the country and some neighbouring countries.
The Africa PUMUA Initiative is AstraZeneca's innovative programme committed to redefining asthma care in Africa.
Through partnership with governments, health care professionals and societies, and AstraZeneca, the initiative aims 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 sustainability commitment to deliver improved accessibility, acceptability, affordability and availability of quality care in Africa.