The misconception attached to Asthma as a spiritual attack on affected people leads to delays in reporting cases.
Dr Opoku Ware Ampomah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), said “this is causing a lot of harm to persons affected with Asthma as the late presentation of cases only makes their conditions worse”.
Speaking at the launch of Nebulization Stations at the Pediatric Unit of the hospital in Accra on Wednesday, he said Asthmas contributed to the significant causes of attendance of acute admission into the Child Health Emergency Unit at the KBTH.
Dr Ampomah said Asthma was a form of allergic reaction, which may be hereditary but can be controlled when detected and treated early.
Asthma is a condition in which an individual’s airways narrow and swell and may produce extra mucus.
This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, a whistling sound (wheezing) when you breathe out and shortness of breath.
The CEO advised asthmatic patients to learn more about the disease and avoid what triggers them.
He encouraged parents to involve children in their own healthcare, saying, “children of these days are very smart and become responsible in terms of managing their symptoms when they are involved”
Signs of Asthma in Children include choughs, increased breathing rates, noise in the chest when a child is breathing, and high temperatures.
Dr Ampomah said the facilities for Asthma treatment at the KBTH were poor in terms of the ambience and that the provision of the Nebulizers would make the place friendly for patients and give them great care experiences.
Mr Emmanuel Atiemo Mawuli, Country Lead for AstraZeneca in Ghana, said the presentation of the four Nebulizers was to help in the management of acute Asthma among children and to improve the care of asthma patients in Africa.
He said the gesture would be repeated in all teaching hospitals in Ghana and hoped that the centre would help relief children who are rushed to the hospital very distressed.
He said the donation was made under the AstraZeneca Africa PUMUA Initiative which was committed to ensuring sustainable health access and improved accessibility, acceptability, affordability and availability of quality care in Africa.
A nebulizer is a medical equipment that can administer medication directly and quickly to the lungs of a person with asthma or another respiratory condition.
A nebulizer turns liquid medicine into a very fine mist which a person can inhale through a face mask or mouthpiece.
Professor Enweronu-Laryea, Head of Pediatrics at the KBTH, said every day, between one to four children were taken to the emergency room because of an Asthmatic attack and that every week, 20 to 30 Asthma cases were attended to at the Asthma clinic.
She said there was an urgent need to support Asthma care among children in Ghana, adding that the provision of the unit would make treatment friendlier for patients.