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AstraZeneca drives improvement for patients with respiratory disease

Released at: 17:16, 07/05/2018

AstraZeneca drives improvement for patients with respiratory disease

Photo: Khanh Chi (VET)

The global biopharmaceutical corporation partners with various associations to support patients in Asia.

by Hong Nhung

To support world asthma day and demonstrate a continued commitment to enhancing healthcare in Asia, AstraZeneca on May 4 hosted the first Healthy Lung Summit in Ho Chi Minh City. It brought together experts from across 9 countries to identify and share best practice approaches, build improved regional collaboration to share new learnings on common issues, and encourage national adoption of initiatives that can dramatically improve the standard of respiratory care. 

The first Healthy Lung Summit, which was organized by AstraZeneca and its partners in Vietnam, is part of a continued commitment to help enhance healthcare systems and to build sustainable capabilities to better treat and manage respiratory disease across Asia.

In Vietnam, AstraZeneca, along with, the Ministry of Health, Medical Service Association (MSA), Vietnam Respiratory Society (VNRS), and Vietnam Association Against Tuberculosis and the Lung Disease (VATLD), launched one of its first healthy lung programs. Spanning across four years (2017 – 2020), the program aims to support the goals set out in the Ministry of Health’s National Program on Asthma and COPD, which is part of the national strategy for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases such as asthma and COPD from 2015 to 2025.  

“One of the main objectives of the National Healthcare Strategy is to increase the ratio of early diagnosis and treatment of asthma and COPD,” said Associate Professor Luong Ngoc Khue, Head of MSA. “The healthy lung initiative of AstraZeneca came just in time to help us to achieve our common goals faster, and more exclusively. In this program, we aim to establish and improve 150 centers of excellence for asthma and COPD management from 2017 to 2020.”

“In addition to sponsoring 20 respiratory pieces of equipment and 500 compressor nebulizers in 2017, the program will aim to fund the establishment and improvement of 50 centers of excellence for asthma and COPD management nationwide to provide access for more than 9,000 patients to get early diagnosis and appropriate treatment in 2018,” said Associate Professor Le Thi Tuyet Lan, President of Association of Asthma and Allergy & Clinical Immunology Ho Chi Minh City. 

“In particular, 29 patient clubs were established, benefitting 2,130 patients and improving patient education and awareness of disease management. This year, the first center will be established in Khanh Hoa Tuberculosis and Lung Hospital in May 2018.”

In Vietnam, the prevalence of asthma is 4.1 per cent of the population and only 29.1 per cent of asthmatics are treated with preventative therapy. The prevalence of COPD is estimated to be 4.2 per cent of the population and 37.5 per cent of COPD adults were reported to be severely symptomatic, which has a very serious impact on employment and daily activities.

It’s important to understand the challenges many countries in Asia face in overcoming the threat posed by respiratory conditions across the region. Their treatment has historically focused on acute, short-term care,” said Mr. Joris Silon, Vice President, AstraZeneca Asia. “Effectively treating respiratory disease requires a lengthy, potentially life-long management with the patient at the center.”

“At AstraZeneca, we seek to work in partnership with clinicians, policymakers and patients to combine forces in the pursuit of common goals. The Healthy Lung Summit offers a chance for countries to learn from each other and share best-practice examples highlighting what we can achieve by working together nationally and across the region to deliver tangible improvements for patients.”

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