Asthma Section

Asthma affects both children and adults. It is estimated that 300 million people of all ages suffer from asthma. A world map of the prevalence of asthma has been produced based on results of two large multi-national studies including developing countries: The European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) in adults and the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) in children. The prevalence of asthma in children aged 13-14 years varies among countries and in the same country among centers. The results of ISAAC Phase I showed that the highest prevalence of asthma was observed in industrialized countries (between 10 and 25%), and that this prevalence is already worryingly high in Latin America, in the Eastern Mediterranean and in Africa (more than 10%). In addition, an upward trend in asthma symptom prevalence was observed in the majority of big cities in developing countries.

Asthma in Sudan

In Sudan asthma affects 12.2% of the children in Khartoum state (ISAAC III). Moreover, asthma ranks as the third cause of hospital admission following pneumonia and malaria (Sudan Federal Ministry of Health data - 2004). In the years between 1998 and 2004 witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of patients visiting asthma emergency room (20000 patients compared to 80000). An emergency room survey conducted by the section (not published) has addressed factors that contribute to the poor control of asthma in Sudan, which include the absence of an asthma management plan due to lack of asthma guidelines, under-use of corticosteroid inhalers, tendency of the care to be acute rather than a long term one and lack of organization and coordination within the structure.

Goals

The asthma section works to promote the understanding and management of asthma in Sudan, the region and internationally through preparation of models for asthma control and scientific research in asthma and COPD which can be expanded for implementation in Wide Nation Scale.

Objectives

1. Measure the burden of asthma and COPD in Sudan.

2. Demonstrates cost-efficacy of a strategy for management of asthma in 14 pilot areas in Khartoum and Algazira states.

3. Develop Epi-lab capacity for training, health education and research by developing a team of five trainers / researchers for asthma.

4. Develop partnership for asthma management and research (at country at regional and international level)

5. Increase awareness on asthma and promote standardized management of asthma.

6. Assist the Ministry of Health in State and Federal for implantation of asthma program (Provide a framework for the extension of the model at country level, technical assistance, training, monitoring, and evaluation).

7. Develop partnership to address risk factors and environmental hazards of asthma in Sudan, and to design interventions to reduce exposure to the environmental hazards.

8. Expand the model to COPD